Somerset

Bridgwater academy expansion delayed after toxic substance found

Bridgwater College Academy Image copyright Somerset County Council
Image caption An artist's impression of how Bridgwater College Academy will look when the project is completed

A school expansion has been delayed after a toxic substance was found in a disused swimming pool.

The substance had not appeared on an original survey but a Somerset County Council spokesman said all harmful elements had been removed and there was "no risk of harm".

Bridgwater College Academy told the BBC the substance found was coal tar.

It was found in the pool which had been built over as part of a previous development of the site.

Phil Curd, the council's manager for access and additional learning need, said: "Surveys could not pick this up as a building had to be demolished that had been placed above it."

No risk of harm

He added a specialist contractor had been brought in to remove the materials, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A council spokesman said waste material had been placed in a disused pool at the school, located on Parkway, during previous building work.

"There has, obviously, been no risk of harm to anyone at any stage, nor is there any future risk," he added.

Mr Curd said the costs of the scheme had also increased because of the delayed start and a need to raise the level of the new building by 750mm.

Additional funding will come from the council's existing capital programme.

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