Plans lodged to demolish arson-hit school site
- Credit: Archant
Plans have been lodged to demolish a former preparatory school site - a month after it fell victim to a second arson attack in the space of two years.
The building, which has been vacant since 2010, was left gutted by the fire - which came two years after a similar arson attack tore through it.
Now, just over a month on, an application has been lodged with Broadland District Council to carry out demolition works, which site owners Berliet Ltd say will make the site safe and prevent it from becoming victim to further anti-social behaviour.
A report from Anglian Demolition, submitted with the application, argues the fire had left the former school building known as Beech Hill House unsafe.
It reads: "If the building is left in the condition it is currently, with cold days and winter conditions, this could contribute to uncontrolled collapse of main areas and demise of the structure and then cause harm to others."
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Under the proposals, two smaller buildings on site would also be knocked down, with neighbours fearing they too would be prone to anti-social behaviour in the event of the main building's demolition.
John Ward, of Thorpe St Andrew Town Council, said he expected a further planning application for the site to be submitted in due course.
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He said: "I think it would be a great shame to see it knocked down, but unfortunately there does not seem to be much of an alternative given the state it is in.
"I do also think it is about time something is done with it, although it would be nice to see something with a similar look, but we will have to wait and see on that front."
The site has been earmarked alongside the former Pinebanks sport centre for development in a vision by Berliet Ltd, which owns both sites. It is expected between the two sites and a third vacant plot off Griffin Lane that some 725 homes could be built.
Meanwhile, Norfolk Constabulary has confirmed that an investigation remains open into the November 21 fire, which is being treated as arson.