THE Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Plans at Upper Cosmeston Penarth for a new school to be constructed has now reached an incredible increase in budget from £10 million to £21.9 million.

Some residents suspect the Vale Council placing a primary school at Upper Cosmeston is just a ploy to fulfil the planning permission requirement to build 400 social housing units there.

The educational needs and moral case claimed for this project is commendable but financially it is wholly irresponsible.

The Vale cabinet admit in your recent article that they are facing a spending shortfall that is "absolutely unprecedented".

This reckless spending is from a local authority which is always pleading poverty, yet the average council tax bill in the Vale is already £160 per year higher than the amount Cardiff residents pay.

The land at Cosmeston is a dubious choice for building a school as it is to be where the former cement works and Council tip were in the early 1970s. There is an acute risk of seepage and consequential emission of toxic fumes and chemicals and the dangerously then unregulated, related product asbestos.

This is currently agricultural land owned by the Welsh Government and was once allocated for the Severn Barrage Energy Project.

Many would say it is desperately needed now for that purpose in the middle of an energy crisis. The Vale Council now cannot afford the project as the purchase price of the land has increased by £10million.

For the Vale to be shamelessly asking the Welsh Government to meet the shortfall in their budget by giving back the purchase price to the Council with the money they purchased the land with in the first place is - in my opinion - a clear abuse of trust in the management off Public Funds.

The solution would be to use an alternative site free of concerns about toxins and create a project that would expand Penarth School places in an equitable manner. For example there is a desperate need to expand Welsh Language places as Penarth is greatly discriminated against in favour of Barry in this sector.

The council claims there is no room for expansion of Ysgol y Deri at the St Cyres- Penarth Community Learning Centre Site.

This is not true; the school’s expansion project can be achieved by creating space there. Simply replacing the 300 car parking spaces with a multi storey car park would cost around  £1 million, saving millions in public money.

The present number of 300 single level roadside spaces is unnecessary and wasting  space that could be used to extend Ysgol y Deri and the Penarth Welsh Language provision.

The eye watering £21.9 million cost of locating the school at Upper Cosmeston Farm is enough to meet the cost of spending for every pupil on the present Penarth Learning site for the next three years.

That is the cost of the entire budget for St Cyres Comprehensive- Ysgol Pen-y Garth and Ysgol y Deri.

Those at the Vale Council do not have the right to squander £21.9 million of  taxpayers’ money on a 100 pupil School project while simultaneously depriving other pupils and schools of investment.

They should build the multi storey car Park and the school extension at Penarth Learning Centre and treat all pupils equally.