THERE is “no truth” in rumours the site of Mounton House special school could be used for housing, said senior Monmouthshire councillors as they pressed ahead with the contentious closure.

The county council’s cabinet unanimously voted to close the school in Pwllmeyric, Chepstow, at a meeting yesterday, despite further opposition being expressed.

Five objections were lodged against the proposal after the council published statutory notices of the decision to close the school, including from Chepstow Town Council and Mathern Community Council.

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The guardian of a pupil at the school also objected, saying the planned closure has made “life very hard and unsettling again for all of us.”

Council bosses say the school only meets the needs of a small number of Monmouthshire learners by catering for boys aged 11-16 with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Councillor Richard John, cabinet member for children, young people and Mon Life, said developing new provision for pupils will be a priority for the authority.

And Cllr John also moved to dismiss “rumours circulating” that the council is planning to build on the site.

“I can confirm that there is no truth in this whatsoever,” he said.

“We have not given any consideration to the future use of the site, and indeed, any such consideration would have completely prejudged this decision.”


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There are currently 15 pupils at the school, and seven living in Monmouthshire.

The school opened in 1970 to serve a population across Gwent of 600,000, but the council says it is “no longer compatible” with the needs of Monmouthshire, and that other authorities have set up their own provision.

Council leader, Cllr Peter Fox, said it had been “a difficult process”, but he said the authority has a responsibility to future generations in making the decision.

“It is always a very difficult decision to look at school reorganisations and certainly closures, but there is a responsibility on an authority like ours to have to look at these things,” he said.

Cllr Bob Greenland, the council’s deputy leader, said he was satisfied alternative provision would be found for existing pupils, which would be “probably better than the one which we are able to offer them in a school which is now outdated.”

Councillor Penny Jones said it was “extremely disappointing” the council had come to this point, adding it was “a pity these matters were not addressed many years ago.”

The school will close from August 31 this year.