FAMILIES living in a Swansea Valley street have been ordered to leave their homes immediately due to a risk of a landslip which could cause their houses to collapse.

Residents of number 81 to 96 Cyfyng Road in Ystalyfera were handed letters from Neath Port Talbot Council last week stating that they must vacate following an investigation into the landslips.

In 2012, thousands of tonnes of rock, soil and trees slipped down the hillside behind the houses and there has also been two further landslides this year with fears that another could cause the houses to collapse.

Council bosses have said there was no immediate solution to the issue.

The letter states: “Following our monitoring and investigation relating to the landslips at the rear of your property, we are of the opinion that there continues to be a risk to life and property, with the houses in 81-96 Cyfyng Road containing hazards relating to structural collapse, and the sewerage system serving some of the houses is inadequate.”

Despite the warning from the authorities, some residents have said they were not prepared to leave.

Resident Paul Harris said he felt safe and would not leave because he had only been offered alternative bed and breakfast accommodation, but could not take his two dogs with him.

“If the council knew that it was likely that they would have to do this, why wasn’t accommodation organisation earlier?” he said.

“I think the council need to decide on a definite plan of action.”

A spokesman for Neath Port Talbot Council said: “The decision to ask people to leave their homes at such short notice has not been taken lightly, but this is a matter of public safety.

“Following monitoring and investigation of the landslips at the rear of 81 to 96 Cyfyng Road, we are of the opinion that there is a high risk of further collapse and consequently a risk to the occupiers if they remain in these properties.

“Based on inspection findings, we are now satisfied that Category 1 hazards exist at the properties which pose an imminent risk to the health and safety of occupiers and immediate emergency action had to be taken.

“Council officers have been in Ystalyfera to offer advice and support.

“It is the council’s intention to secure alternative accommodation for the residents affected.”