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Tribunal upholds council’s landslide evacuation order

A Residential Property Tribunal in Cardiff has upheld a decision by Neath Port Talbot Council to evacuate residents from their homes in Ystalyfera following a series of landslide.

Four residents of Cyfyng Road in Pantteg affected by the order had appealed against the Emergency Prohibition Orders (EPOs) on them in August 2017.

The EPOs were put in place after Earth Science Partnership (ESP) told the council that there was “an immediate danger to life” concerning 10 properties in the Cyfyng Road area, including the appellants’ homes.

hazard map ystalyfera

hazard map ystalyfera

According to the council, an updated Hazard Map has been developed by ESP using aerial drones fitted with laser scanners accurately establishing the risk to various residential properties in the Pantteg area.The council has also been carrying out tree and vegetation clearance, drainage work and the sinking of boreholes and trial pits to assess conditions in the landslip area on what is mostly private land.

Neath Port Talbot Council leader Rob Jones said: “We are pleased the authority’s decision to re-locate residents of privately owned homes in Cyfyng Road due to urgent safety concerns has now been upheld by an independent tribunal.

“The authority must now consider how to help the appellants – particularly those who have remained living at Cyfyng Road during the appeals process.”

The council described the number of recorded landslips in the Pantteg as “dozens” and added that there were three significant ground movements recorded in early 2017.

Based on evidence from ESP, the council said the landslips are largely related to local geology and steep slopes but ground movement has also been linked to heavy rainfall events.

The tribunal panel said that the ground movements in 2017 meant “the slope which was already very steep became even steeper”.

The panel agreed with the council’s evidence that none of the properties are founded on solid rock and all agreed the authority had shown there was a risk to residents from landslips.

Jones said that the council’s next step would be to enter into dialogue with the resident who lodged the appeal.


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