Proposals to knock down a derelict school which have gained support from thousands of people could be turned down because they are “flawed.”
More than 1,500 people have signed a petition supporting the application by businessman Tony Mann to knock down the Grade II listed former school in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery.
Two busloads of people are planning to lobby outside County Hall at tomorrow’s planning meeting.
But despite the support of residents, councillors, parish council and Easington’s MP, Durham County Council has said the demolition application should be refused.
In the report to be put to the committee, Mr Mann states: “Easington School lies at the heart of the colliery, which desperately needs regeneration.
“The demolition will provide the catalyst for regeneration.
Easington School lies at the heart of the colliery, which desperately needs regeneration.Tony Mann, site owner
“The buildings have not been used for many years and their listed status is the reason for the lack if interest in the site redevelopment.
“A recent petition involving the residents of Easington has reinforced the opinion that the buildings are a blight on the area and landscape the residents are looking forward to redevelopment.”
Fifteen letters of support were sent to the council, raising concerns the site is an “eyesore and should be delisted and demolished.”
But council planners say the proposal, which follows on from a similar application in 2005/6, is “flawed” because it does not show the benefit it would have to the public, evidence the site has been marketed and what sources of grant cash have been explored or details of future proposals have been provided.
The report also states it does not justify the loss of a ‘heritage asset’ and would result in an “irreplaceable loss of a national important Grade II listed building.”
Historic England and The Victorian Society, along with the council’s economic development team, have objected to the plan.
The central and east area planning committee meeting is due to be held at 1pm.