‘The fight is not over’

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Residents of the Hyde Park area were left disappointed by the news that their latest efforts to delay the demolition of the Royal Park School Building have failed, yet remain committed to saving the historic site.

On Monday 20th January, Cllr  Javaid Akhtar met Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Board Member for Development to ask him to allow an extra three months reprieve so that talks could continue between Asset Management and Manni Hussain of Cubic Acquisitions.

The latter two have offered to provide finances to refurbish and renovate the building as a Centre of Arts, Training and Enterprise yet the appeal for a further reprise was denied.

DEMOLITION: Royal Park School in Leeds is set to be knocked down despite the protest of local residents

DEMOLITION: Royal Park School in Leeds is set to be knocked down despite the protest of local residents

However, the campaign to save the building continues. “The fight is not over,” said Pervez Akhtar, Chair of the Hyde Park Business Forum and member of Royal Park Community Consortium. “We are taking legal advice in order to pursue an appeal against the demolition order.

“We have written to Councillor Lewis giving him due notice of appeal on the grounds that the decision to demolish the Royal Park School building is both unreasonable and irrational under Section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000, with regard to the well-being of the community.

“The local authority’s duties to Council Tax payers mean that the needs and wishes of the community must be considered reasonably and rationally. In this case Leeds City Council has not acted in the spirit of this Act.”

Campaigners to save the building feel that having fought for so long, first to stop the school closing in 2005, and since then to save the much-loved building for community use, they cannot give up while there is even a ray of hope.

The group is now urging the Council to be the administration remembered in history as ‘the one who let Royal Park stand for future generations’.

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