Plans lodged to demolish arson-hit school site

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday 21st November, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called to a blaze a

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday 21st November, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called to a blaze at the former Langley Preparatory School site in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Archant - 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.

On November 21, fire crews battled through the night to tackle a blaze at the former Langley Preparatory School site in Thorpe St Andrew.

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.

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday 21st November, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called to a blaze a

Shortly after 3pm on Saturday 21st November, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was called to a blaze at the former Langley Preparatory School site in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

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."


You may also want to watch:


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, Conservative councillor for Sprowston. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

John Ward, of Thorpe St Andrew Town Council. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

John Ward, of Thorpe St Andrew Town Council, said he expected a further planning application for the site to be submitted in due course.

Most Read

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.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter