Demolished school site turned into a car park for civil servants

The new car park at the former Bispham High School on Bispham Road
The new car park at the former Bispham High School on Bispham Road
Have your say

The site of a demolished secondary school is being used as a car park for civil servants.

Aspire Academy’s old premises, in Bispham Road, was pulled down earlier this year after becoming a magnet for vandals and expensive for town hall chiefs to look after.

The cost of making the ground usable has been covered by charging for parking, council chiefs said, with an agreement in place for around 12 months.

Plans were previously put in to build new homes and shops on part of the site.

The council’s regeneration, enterprise, and economic development boss, Coun Mark Smith, said: “An area of the site at Bispham High School is currently being used for parking by staff from Warbreck House.

“We have come to this arrangement following a suggestion from Coun Christine Wright who was keen to try and alleviate the pressure on car parking spaces in the area.

“The cost of the site preparation has been covered by car parking fees and we anticipate that the scheme could be in place for at least 12 months.

“However, this is not a long term agreement as details of how the site could be developed are still being explored.”

Work to demolish the school started in January, took around four months to complete, and cost around £350,000. The section of the site being used as a car park was also previously used as a car park by school staff.

Councillors agreed to demolish the building late last year after hearing the cost of securing and maintaining the site had reached £60,000 – on top of the £99,000-a-year business rates.

In May, The Gazette revealed how new homes and shops could be built on the site, after the council wrote to neighbours to tell them it had applied for a change of use on the land.

Coun Wright said she works the move will provide a short-term solution to overcrowding, which is a regular source of complaints from residents.

She added: “They have 3,000 working there [Warbreck House] and they have car parking for 1,000. Not everyone has a car , so if we say half, they know there’s 500 cars on the streets.”