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Appeals denied against tribunal’s backing of council’s landslip action

Two people have been refused permission to challenge an independent tribunal which upheld Neath Port Talbot Council’s decision to evacuate them from their landslip hit homes in Ystalyfera last year.

Four people appealed to the Cardiff based Residential Property Tribunal Wales (RPT Wales) against Neath Port Talbot Council’s decision to impose Emergency Prohibition Orders (EPOs) requiring them to leave their homes in Cyfyng Road, Pantteg, Ystalyfera, in August 2017.

But in May this year, RPT Wales upheld the Council’s action after hearing the EPOs followed expert advice that a series of landslides in Pantteg posed “an immediate danger to life” to people in Cyfyng Road.

The tribunal also found Neath Port Talbot Council’s expert evidence showed none of the appeal properties were founded on solid rock and agreed the authority had shown there was a real risk to residents from landslips

The unsuccessful appellants were given three weeks to appeal RPT Wales’s decision and on the last day of the “appeal window” two of them asked for permission to appeal to RPT Wales’s Upper Tribunal.

Their request read, in part: “We are completely dissatisfied with the decision made by the RPT. We find ourselves in an impossible situation, but have been told at a recent meeting that there are ‘engineering solutions’ to the ongoing problems concerning Cyfyng Road, our house in particular.”

hazard map ystalyfera

hazard map ystalyfera

The map was developed geological consultants Earth Science Partnership (ESP) using aerial drones fitted with laser scanners accurately establishing the risk to various residential properties in Pantteg.

However, tribunal chairman Christopher McNall refused them permission to appeal saying “Dissatisfaction with a tribunal’s decision is not a ground of appeal”.

He added no engineering solutions had been put forward by the appellants and the only engineering solution regarding the appellants’ home would in effect involve demolishing the property to undertake extensive underpinning works.

RPT Wales confirmed no other appeals against its backing of the council’s use of EPOs had been received before the appeal deadline.

Neath Port Talbot Council officials have recently met with owners of properties in Cyfyng Road and a programme of home inspections sited in “high and very high” risk areas identified on an updated risk and hazard map of the Pantteg area is underway.

The updated map was developed geological consultants Earth Science Partnership (ESP) using aerial drones fitted with laser scanners accurately establishing the risk to various residential properties in Pantteg.

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