School site demolition

BIDS have been put in to demolish the old Wyke Manor site of Appleton Academy, with a decision expected to be made as early as next week.

The site was earmarked for a new multi-million pound sports complex in October, and local councillors want the site to be demolished as quickly as possible so it does not become a magnet for antisocial behaviour. Councillors want work to start early in the new year.

The demolition plans will not include the old sports hall, as it is incorporated into the plans for the sports complex on the site.

Appleton Academy recently moved to new £24m purpose-built premises on Woodside road.

Wyke councillor David Warburton (Lab) said: “The idea is to safeguard the land as soon as possible.

“We would hope that the demolition of the site will be a formality, as people in the area do not want vandals breaking into the building and causing trouble.”

Once permission for the demolition of the site has been approved, Coun Warburton hopes to hold a public meeting to discuss the future of the site with locals.

In addition to the sports complex, plans have also been put forward for the building of social housing on the part of the site which is currently used as Wyke library.

Coun Warburton said: “To make clear our commitment to the people of Wyke ward, the old library will not become a McDonalds or a Starbucks as some have intimated.

“We have already looked to allocate this and the nearby old middle school land for housing.

“There is a need for more supportive and sheltered housing in Wyke ward. Working with council officers, we will look at an appropriate scheme which will provide this style of housing.”

Wyke library will move to the new site of Appleton Academy, with plans for it to open in the early spring.

Local councillor David Robinson (Ind), is pleased that the plans for the sports complex are beginning to take shape, but added: “A lot of the people who are living in the area are worried that, should the council decide to cut library services in the next budget, it would become a school library and no longer serve the community.”

Coun Warburton said: “There have not been any decisions made on the future of the library, and it is something that will be discussed in the coming budget.

“We are having to cut £30m from this year’s budget, and £50m from next year’s budget, so there will obviously be some services which we will not be able to continue with, but as it stands, it will remain a public library that is run by Bradford council.”

The date for the forum for the community to look at the Wyke Manor proposals is Wednesday January 16 at the Veterans Hut, Wyke park and will take place between 2pm and 7pm.