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Lib Dems demand answers on Thorney Close Primary School demolition

December 23, 2019 9:25 AM
By Margaret Crosby

Local Lib Dems are demanding answers from the City Council about their plans for the future of the Thorney Close Primary School site, after it was announced that the school is due to be demolished.

Councillor Margaret Crosby and Lib Dem campaigner Paul Edgeworth outside Thorney Close Primary School

Councillor Margaret Crosby and Lib Dem campaigner Paul Edgeworth outside Thorney Close Primary School

A local councillor is demanding answers about Sunderland City Council's plans for the future of the site of Thorney Close Primary School.

Sunderland Council gave the initial green light to a plan to demolish the school on Torquay Road in Thorney Close and rebuild it on the site of the current Sunningdale School on Shaftoe Road in nearby Springwell.

This would come after Sunningdale School has been rebuilt at a new site in Doxford Park.

But whilst a formal planning application hasn't yet been submitted, a local Lib Dem councillor for the area says residents are worried about what the future might hold for the site of the school, which borders Torquay Road, Taunton Road, Tanfield Road and the A690 (Durham Road) in Thorney Close, and deserve answers about what is planned way before the formal planning process begins.

A plot of land next to the school was formally assessed for housing development by the council - but access problems meant it was not feasible. If the school closed, this would no longer be the case.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Margaret Crosby said:

"Although local people are sceptical about where the Council has found the money to rebuild Sunningdale School and Thorney Close Primary when for years it has said it hasn't got the money for basic services like mending roads, emptying the bins regularly and keeping streets clean, as a former primary school teacher any investment in and improvements to local school buildings would be very welcome.

"However, residents are understandably anxious about what the future will hold for the current Thorney Close Primary School site if the demolition goes ahead. It's a large piece of land which borders lots of homes and I think the Council's leadership should do the decent thing and be honest about what their intentions are for the site.

"That would allow local people to have their say, put forward suggestions about what the site could or should be used for, and influence the decision-making process even at this early stage. I'm calling on Sunderland Council's Labour bosses to be open with people and set out their proposals as soon as possible.

Paul Edgeworth, Lib Dem campaigner for Thorney Close, added:

"Being open, honest and transparent aren't strong points of those running Sunderland City Council so it is understandable that residents are worried about what the Council may want to do with the site once the school buildings are gone.

"You don't bring forward a plan to demolish and rebuild two schools without having thought about what you'll do with the large plot of land that would be left over, so they must have some idea about what they'd like to see there.

"If Sunderland Council don't come clean about their plans, residents on Thorney Close will wonder what the Council's leadership has to hide."