Delay on decision over disused first school site frustrates Seahouses councillors

Concerns about the deteriorating condition of a disused school have been raised by Seahouses councillors.

Monday, 11th January 2021, 7:00 am

The former first school site has been vacant since 2017 when the move to a two-tier education system resulted in the middle school being turned into a primary school.

"It’s getting into a terrible state,” Cllr David Donaldson told a meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council.

"The gardens are running wild with weeds and over the concrete in the yard.

The former Seahouses First School.

"The most sensible thing would be to get rid of it while it’s in reasonable condition but it’s deteriorating all the time.”

County councillor Guy Renner-Thompson replied: “You’re completely right. I’ve chased up legal services to see where we are with the disposal and it’s still with the Department for Education waiting to sign off. There seems to be a blockage down at Whitehall which is stopping it.

"I’m pushing it on but I am frustrated as you that nothing has happened.”

Cllr David Shiel is hoping to make a trip to Whitby to see how its whalebones are fixed in place.

A suggestion of putting hanging baskets on the shop fronts on Main Street is to be discussed further.

No decision has been made on whether real or artificial plants would be used, with concerns having previously been raised about the hardiness of flowers exposed to winds off the sea.

Cllr Ailsa Shiel has approached those businesses which are open to gauge opinion.

"The shops have been pretty keen,” she said.

Cllr Sylvia Hillan estimated that it would cost around £500 to cover the whole street. She said costs and insurance needed to be investigated.

“I think there is quite a lot to look into before we make a decision,” she said. We need to look into insurance and speak to the businesses which unfortunately are not able to open at the moment.”

Cllr Ailsa Shiel reported concerns about speeding near the school.

Cllr Renner-Thompson responded: “The speeding issue is really a police matter in that the council has already made it a 20mph zone. It would be interesting to know which part because normally there are so many cars down there you would think it would be quite difficult to speed.”

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