ENVIRONMENTAL experts have approved preparation works on the site of the new Newport primary school.

Glan Usk Primary School is due to open next year to replace the crumbling and cramped Durham Road schools.

Remediation work on the Glebelands site, where chemicals including PCBs were once dumped, began last year.

A total of 778 drums of waste and more than 2,500 tonnes of soil surrounding them was removed during the project and disposed of at a specialist facility A Newport city council spokesman said: “Everyone associated with the school is very much looking forward to the opening of Glan Usk next year, which will be a superb and much needed asset for the community.

“The council has carried out a robust remediation strategy on the site, which has been approved by the relevant regulators including the Environment Agency and Countryside Council for Wales.

“We hope that residents will be reassured by our strict adherence to these and other measures to remediate the land.”

Funding to build the £9.7 million new school project was secured from the Assembly last year, eight years after planning permission was originally granted in 2000.

The current school has capacity for 544 pupils, but the new building will have room for 656.

The project was dogged with delays and controversy over the decision to use the Glebelands site, which resulted in the formation of the Glebelands Action Group and also raised concerns from both the Chepstow and Newport branches of Friends of the Earth.

Following the waste removal, the site was backfilled with suitable material and re-checked using specialist equipment.

The final stage was to cover the site with more than half a metre of imported quarry stone or hardcover structures.

Checks and tests are currently being carried out on site to meet planning conditions and interim results show the remediation strategy achieved its goals.