A CONTROVERSIAL former school is to be levelled and replaced with 115 homes after the bulldozers moved in.
Fylde Farm, on Normoss Road, near Poulton, is finally being pulled down by developers following years of arson attacks and children risking their lives playing on the abandoned site.
Coun Barry Birch, Highcross member for Wyre Council, was today celebrating after Wainhomes purchased the land from the North West Young People’s Trust and began to clear the dangerous land.
He said: “Various developers were looking at the site but that kept coming to nothing.
“Eventually we had a meeting with the owners of the land and after meetings between Wainhomes and Wyre Council, the site was purchased.
“We’ve been very lucky not to have had any serious injuries over the last eight years and that’s down to the awareness campaign ran by The Gazette.”
Firefighters were repeatedly called to the derelict site – which used to be the home to the Emmanual Christian School – to deal with arson attacks.
In August last year, fire officers, police and ambulance crews were called to the notorious site when a young boy fell through a 12ft hole in the roof and had to be winched free.
Coun Birch has worked closely with his Highcross colleague Coun Roger Berry in clearing the way for work to begin.
He added: “We are both delighted progress is being made on this site because it has been a worry for some time.
“I was delighted to see the buildings starting to fall and I’m confident the rest of the site will be demolished in the next seven days.
“According to Wainhomes, building at the new estate should start sometime in May or June.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service added: “We are relieved that at long last plans are in place to clear the site.
“The Gazette has followed this story for a number of years and continued to get the message out and about how dangerous this is.
“It became so ruinous that it was dangerous for firefighters themselves in case the buildings collapsed, so the news it is to be cleared has been long awaited.”
Wainhomes sales and marketing director Sharon Wood said: “Wainhomes are delighted to have commenced demolition of the previous Fylde Community College and look forward to the launch of the new Highcross Park development in its place. We’re very excited about this project as it will be a unique development creating its own environment where people will aspire to live.”