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Injury prompts fresh call for old school’s demolition

Horncliffe School

Horncliffe School

Fresh calls have been made for the demolition of Horncliffe’s former school after a boy was injured by a piece of guttering.

The incident happened on May 19 when a group of youngsters were playing football on the playing field.

One of them went around the back of the school to retrieve the ball but a large metal gutter hopper dropped off and fell on his head resulting in a split requiring stitches.

Jo Woodman, who told the parish council of the incident, said: “There have been concerns over the state of the school building for some time and now there has been a physical injury because of this dilapidated building.

“I hope that the parish council will see fit to inform the county council of this incident with pressure applied for the building to be demolished as a matter of urgency before there is an even more serious injury sustained.”

Ironically, the parish council expressed concerns about the potential dangers earlier this year.

Speaking in February, chairman George Miller said: “Our main concern is that the village playing field is right next to it.

“By their very nature, children are running around and we’re frightened that one day someone will be a little too inquisitive so we would prefer the building to be demolished now before there’s an accident.

“We really think Northumberland County Council needs to get on and do something about it.”

The parish council agreed to send a new letter to the county council calling for demolition.

They added that if the building is not to be demolished in the near future, safety fencing should be erected around it on safety grounds before there are any more injuries.

The village school closed at the end of 2005 because of the low number of pupils. Even at that time, however, there were concerns that the building was falling into disrepair.

It appeared the site could get a new lease of life in 2010 when the council sold it to Four Housing Group, the parent company of Berwick Borough Housing, for a mix of affordable housing for families and older people.

However, Four Housing informed the council earlier this year that it does not consider there to be a housing need in Horncliffe. As a result, the council has opened talks with another housing association.

The parish council has indicated that it would have no objection to a development of eight to ten homes.

 

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