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Neath Port Talbot Politics South Wales

Work set to begin to build 43 affordable houses on former Port Talbot school site

Devonshire Place Port Talbot - View of how the new housing estate could look once complete (Pic: Roberts Limbrick Architects)

WORK to build 43 affordable homes on the site of a former Port Talbot school is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

The development lead by social landlord Linc Cymru will be based on the site of the former Lower Dyffryn School in Port Talbot with funding from the Welsh Government.

The school site, which is based in a densely-populated residential area, was fully vacated in 2018 and has been left derelict since it closed though plans will now see the construction of 43 affordable properties along with an internal road network, landscaping, and additional car parking.

Once completed the properties will be made up of a mixture of two-storey houses and three-storey apartment blocks made up of of 18 one-bed flats, six two-bed flats, eight two-bed houses, and 11 three-bed homes.

Approval for the project came from the local authority in 2023 though many residents and councillors had opposed the plans raising concerns over increased levels of traffic, road safety, and the impacts on parking and drainage. They also worried about the effect the three-storey apartment blocks could have on the street scene and visuals in the area.

Officers however recommended the application for approval after saying it met all planning standards and requirements and visually reflected the area without any overbearing visual or privacy impacts.

Speaking before construction on the site begins, Natalie Hawkins, who is the social value manager at Linc Cymru said: “The school holds so many memories for the local community. Capturing and remembering these stories is a vital part of this regeneration project.

“We’ve been awarded a £164,964 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help preserve the legacy of the building and the memories of residents, pupils, and staff.

“Materials from the school’s buildings will be reused to create a community artwork mosaic, there will be a 3D digital model of the school, an archiving and oral history project, and an interpretation panel for residents and future generations to enjoy and to learn about what once stood.”

A spokesman for Linc Cymru added that the demolition of the school will start at the end of April and take around 12 weeks. Work has also begun to “sensitively remove” internal fixtures and fittings to prepare the site for demolition.

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