Pleas for a three-month demolition reprieve for Leeds school building

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Campaigners for a former Leeds primary school which is set to be bulldozed have made a last-ditch plea to the council to give them the ultimate Christmas present – a temporary reprieve for the much-loved building.

As reported in the YEP last week, demolition is set to start at the former Royal Park Primary School in Hyde Park after council bosses rejected a new bid by social enterprise Cubic Acquisitions to buy the building and turn it into a community hub. The proposal was branded “disappointing” and not “robust” enough.

Now campaigners are pleading with council bosses to allow another three months for a stronger, more refined bid to be prepared. This follows an initial three-month reprieve following meetings in July.

A new petition has gathered 300 signatures and Hyde Park Labour councillor Javaid Akhtar has now taken up the baton on behalf of locals.

Coun Akhtar said: “The members and friends of the Hyde Park community worked very hard over the years to save the Royal Park School building. I am now asking the council for an extra three-month postponement of demolition so that negotiations with Cubic Acquisition may continue, to save this well-loved building for community use.”

Coun Richard Lewis, Leeds city council’s economy and development portfolio holder, said July’s initial reprieve had been “one last chance for someone to bring forward a workable proposal” but “despite lengthy discussions it had not been possible to reach an agreement.” He said the site would be temporarily grassed over after demolition “with a view to creating a permanent green space on the site”.

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