AN eyesore 19th century former school building in Bingley should not be left to rot, according to concerned members of the town’s council.

The Bradford Council-owned Priestthorpe Annex in Mornington Road, has stood largely empty since 2002. It had been gifted to the town for educational use by local benefactors in the 19th century and had been used as the town’s Science Arts and Technical School.

The local authority is looking to sell the building and, following an inspection, say it is now “beyond economic repair.”

Bingley Town Council (BTC) fears the site may have decreased in value from when it was marketed with a guide price of £400,000 plus in 2008.

BTC has written to Bradford Council’s regulatory and appeals committee, which is acting as the building’s trustee, over its concerns for the future of the site.

Ros Dawson, BTC chairman, said: “For too many years, the annex has been an eyesore and source of frustration and concern for residents. BTC is now very pleased that its efforts have encouraged Bradford Council to address the issues. Of course, it is appalling that the property, once valued at hundreds of thousands pounds, is now deemed only fit for demolition. We urge Bradford Council to ensure the site is not left to rot further but is put to good use with any proceeds invested in the original aim of the trust which created the annex – the educational benefit of the people of Bingley.”

BTC’s letter accused the local authority of failing to care for the building, asked how it could be sold or disposed of responsibly and how, when this does happen, the terms of the trust could be met. BTC said it does not have the finances, or resources, itself to “attempt to own or manage this building”.

The letter states that, if no suitable parties with a positive plan express an interest, Bradford Council should seek a second opinion on options for the site. It says: “If this second opinion deems that demolition is the only option, Bradford Council and the trustees should pay for this to happen.”

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We are thankful to BTC for writing to us detailing the concerns they have over the Priestthorpe Annex, which we are currently marketing to interested parties after receiving approval from the Council’s regulatory and appeals committee, who act as trustees of the building. We are considering the issues raised by BTC and will respond in due course.”