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Derelict former Manor High School finally set for demolition

By Gurdip Thandi | Wednesbury | Property | Published:

Bulldozers could be moving in to finally tear down an arson-hit derelict Wednesbury school as part of a new major redevelopment.

A proposal has been submitted to Sandwell Council for the demolition of the former Phoenix Collegiate, in Friar Park Road, and is currently being considered by planning officers.

In the application, Interserve Construction said they hope to be on site by the end of the year or early next year – once full approval for the works has been granted. It is estimated that the works will take around 19 weeks to complete and will include the removal and disposal of asbestos, demolition of the existing buildings and removing the foundations.

Works will be carried out between 7.30am and 4.30pm during the week and when the site is closed, while security guards will also patrol the area.

The firm said the area would be left flat and safe ready for the new development – which is set to be a new special education needs school.

A fire at the former Manor High School in March

The site was previously the home of Manor High School, which closed in 2010 and then became Phoenix Collegiate until it closed in 2015.

It has lain empty ever since and become a target for arson attacks, vandalism and anti-social behaviour. One fire, which occurred in March this year, saw dozens of firefighters battling for hours as a blaze ripped through one of the buildings.

In August this year, plans were submitted to Sandwell Council for the new school, which will be a two-storey building and feature car parking and landscaping on the site. That application has been registered and is still being considered by planners.

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In the current demolition proposal, Interserve said: “As part of the redevelopment at the former Phoenix Academy Site, Fire Park, Interserve Construction is intending to carry out the full demolition of the derelict school.

“The existing building can be classified into two sections, the first is the section of the building that has been damaged by fire and the rest of the site is a derelict building.

“The works are planned to be in place late 2019/early 2020 once full approval and notice of works have been issued.”

They added: “Part of the building has been irrevocably damaged and as a result is to be removed in its entirety and classified as hazardous waste.

“The structure as it stands cannot be safely accessed to remove and segregate the different waste type, so a long reach grab will be used to demolish and remove all of the fire damaged building.”

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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