Plans to demolish crumbling school which became blight on village

Chairman of Easington Colliery Parish Council Ian Foster at the former school in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery
Chairman of Easington Colliery Parish Council Ian Foster at the former school in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery

Village leaders have backed plans to clear an old school site which they say has held back its community for decades.

Easington Colliery and Infant School has been left open to the elements, vandals, squatters, pigeons and rats.

In it’s day it was a magnificent building, I went to the school myself, but it’s had its time and it’s been left to deteriorate.

Easington Colliery Parish Council Ian Foster

While a series of organisations have fought for the 1913 building to be preserved or revamped, the cost and difficulties involved have been deemed too great.

The plot’s owner Tony Mann, who has fought against calls to save the blocks, has now submitted an application to Durham County Council to clear the land and could lead the way for its redevelopment.

A petition of more than 1,000 names has been collected within two weeks by supporters of the application.

Chairman of the parish council, Ian Foster, said: “The school site has been dragging us back, now we’re looking to go forward.

“In it’s day it was a magnificent building, I went to the school myself, but it’s had its time and it’s been left to deteriorate.

“If it was on the Quayside in Newcastle it would go for millions and be turned into flats, but it’s in the wrong place.

“It’s a real shame, but it’s become magnet for naughty boys in the area, and people living near it are really depressed by it.”

A decision over the application is likely to be discussed by the council in September.