Hundreds of residents and interested parties signed a petition for demolition, and now Newbiggin Town Council has added its weight to the idea, with the significant majority of the town councillors very supportive of using the site for a better purpose.
Cllr Stuart Todd from Newbiggin Town Council said: “We are well aware of the problems of parking associated with the Co-op shop, pharmacy, health centre and dental practice. These are essential local amenities for residents and visitors to the town, and parking is often inappropriate or even dangerous.
“The old school building is in very poor condition and no longer fit for purpose, and we hope that the petitions committee at the county council takes our strong views into account.”
Cllr Liz Simpson, county councillor for Newbiggin Central and East, added: “The old school building is now in a very poor state of repair, is beyond economic use and has already been an eyesore for those entering the town for too long.
“I can appreciate that people feel nostalgic about a building like this, but the sad fact is that repair would be extremely expensive, if it were even viable at all, and it is becoming a financial and health and safety risk. It could soon be the subject of vandalism, meaning further costs and reputational damage for the council and the town.
“We must have ambition for the future of our town. The library has now successfully moved to the community and sports centre, providing a hub of leisure and cultural activities.
“I will be speaking at the petitions committee in support of demolishing this now redundant and uneconomic building and providing something that is of real benefit to the community.