ANGRY residents have hit out at the owners of a derelict former special school after yet another blaze at the site.

Firefighters from Shipley, Bradford and Fairweather Green, were called to the old Heaton Royds Special School, in Redburn Drive, Shipley, on Tuesday evening to what is thought to have a been a deliberate fire.

Beleagured locals say the owners, Keighley-based Inter City Money Limited, have “failed to take responsibility” for the site and have urged them to secure it amid a spate of incidents.

They added that some feel Tuesday’s fire was “waiting to happen”.

The school closed in March 2010 after being declared structurally unsound, but disposal of the land was held up when the Government requested that the Council keep the site free as the possible location of a free school.

In 2013, the Telegraph & Argus reported that maintaining and securing the school building since its closure had cost the authority £28,000.

However the site was eventually sold to Inter City Money Limited for £461,000 at auction in September 2015, and, earlier this year, a planning application for 14 new homes was submitted.

Jane Robinson said: “They are responsible for the site and they have been made aware of the happenings on the site since they acquired it, but they’ve done nothing.

“Unless they secure the site, the dangers to the kids that trespass there will just get worse.”

She said rafters were collapsing on Tuesday evening and added: “The fire brigade, police and Council resources are being wasted on this when their budgets are tight.”

Another resident, Tony Woods, said: “There is a wildly inappropriate planning application pending for the site, but planning permission is a separate matter from the owners’ legal responsibilities.”

West Yorkshire Police said a crime of arson has been recorded in relation to the fire.

A spokesman said anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area, or who believes they can assist the investigation, is asked to contact police via 101.

Information can also be reported using the live chat facility on the West Yorkshire Police website, or anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Taliq Hussain, director at Inter City Money Limited, said the building was secure and they have done as best as they can, but 24-hour surveillance is not possible. He pointed out that things happened when the Council owned it. He said they would re-evaluate to see if it could be secured further, but highlighted they had done as much as was possible. Mr Hussain said the planning application is in its own merit.