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Shipley school site could be sold to become 'community asset'
An environmental charity could soon buy and run a derelict school site in Shipley if its bid to have it declared a “community asset” is successful.
The Bradford Community Environment Project has set its sights on the former Heaton Royds special school in Redburn Drive and wants to turn it into an environmental hub.
BCEP, which runs environmental projects throughout the district, is based at Carlisle Business Centre in Manningham, Bradford.
The group says that if Bradford Council agrees to make the site a community asset, it would raise money to buy it through grants or mortgage arrangements.
The school, between two woodland areas, closed in 2010 after being declared structurally unsound. The Council wanted to sell the building and its land, but for three years the Government blocked any sale, asking it to keep the site for the setting up of a free school.
Since its closure, the Council has spent £28,000 maintaining and keeping the empty building secure.
In May the Government said it no longer wants to build on the site.
Seeing potential in the building, Carlton Smith, of BCEP, submitted an application to have it declared a community asset in August.
If a building is named an asset, then groups and parish councils are given the option of buying it.
Mr Smith’s bid states: “The location between two fabulous Bradford woodland areas with good public transport links and its semi woodland setting make Heaton Royds an ideal location for an environmental hub for the district.”
BCEP proposes to bring several of the district’s environmental agencies, such as Bradford Re-Paint, Scrap Magic and the Bradford Environmental Action Trust, under one roof. The school hall would be made available for community meetings and evening and weekend events.
Its bid says: “The former school also lends itself to being used as a training venue for forest schools activities, woodland sustainable management, conservation, green wood working, local food growing, cycle training and similar activities.”
The committee has been recommended to approve the bid. A decision on the bid will be made by the Council’s Bradford West Area Committee which meets at City Hall next Wednesday from 6pm.
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