Hartlepool nursery to rise from ashes after arson attack

Designs have been drafted up to rebuild a Hartlepool nursery which was destroyed in an arson attack.

Staff, pupils, their families and the wider community were devastated when the blaze ripped through the building at Rift House Primary School on Sunday, May 8 last year.

Rift House Primary School nursery after at fire on May 7, 2017.

Rift House Primary School nursery after at fire on May 7, 2017.

Now Hartlepool Borough Council has put together a proposal to construct a new nursery, which will see its youngest children welcomed into a new centre as they start their school life.

Plans for the Masefield Road site show it would be constructed on the footprint of the old 1960s nursery, which has now been demolished to clear the site of debris left behind by the fire.

If approved, the proposals will see the new building become home to a nursery teaching area which would have its own toilets, a disabled-friendly look, a multi-purpose room, its own quiet area and a kitchen.

Another section will be set up for children aged up to two, featuring areas to change nappies and another for sleeping, as well as a quiet room.

The new building is a like for like replacement.

Nursery plans

The single-storey building would have its own entrance.

The planning application states: “It is proposed to build a new modern nursery facility for use by the school to replace the facility destroyed in an arson attack of May 2017.

“The new building is a like-for-like replacement in terms of usage and building occupancy for the original nursery and is therefore not expected to change the parking requirements on the site.”

The plans say some outside lighting will be set up and the existing CCTV system at the school to be extended to the new wing.

Firefighters battle the blaze as it took hold of the nursery building.

Firefighters battle the blaze as it took hold of the nursery building.

The blaze led to an outpouring of support from the community as it rallied round to help the school in the aftermath of the attack.

Two boys, then aged 13 and 14, were arrested at the time in connection with the investigation between Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade.