THE ongoing row surrounding plans to build a school and homes on Newport parkland took a new turn as residents claim the development will put children in danger.

Developers are to build 153 new homes and a school on the former landfill site at the Glebelands in St Julians.

But locals claim a proposed access road for works traffic will pass too close to a children's playground.

John Martin, chairman of the Glebelands Action Group, told the Argus the planned road was "madness" and "foolhardy".

He said: "The road will pass in close proximity to the most popular area of the park and pass within metres of the new children's play area. The fact that large lorries filled with potentially contaminated waste will be driven past is irresponsible and should not be allowed.

"Councillors must insist this must not happen and challenge the developers, Vinci, to provide another, more appropriate, way of moving the vehicles."

They fear the increased traffic, and the fact many of the lorries will be carrying waste cleared from the site, will put children at risk.

It is the latest twist in the tale of the development at the former landfill site.

Pupils, teachers and parents were first told that Durham Road junior and infants schools needed to be replaced more than 15 years ago. But despite the fact outline planning permission for the new school and homes was granted in October 2000, the final go-ahead was not given until last year.

At the time a number of residents raised concerns that the former landfill site was a health hazard.

They opposed the development despite reassurances from council bosses that all toxic waste would be removed or made safe.

A council spokesman said: "The temporary road is a proposal put forward by the developers to enable construction traffic to access the site but avoid the necessity of using residential streets."