School site sold

Adam Redfern (L) has launched a campaign to stop Wakefield Council from selling the Throstle Farm School buildings in Knottingley. pictured with Adam James, Pastor from Knottingley Elim church.
Adam Redfern (L) has launched a campaign to stop Wakefield Council from selling the Throstle Farm School buildings in Knottingley. pictured with Adam James, Pastor from Knottingley Elim church.
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FURIOUS campaigners slammed council chiefs for “missing” an opportunity to transform a derelict Knottingly school into a community hub after a mysterious buyer snapped up the site for £102,000.

As the Express reported last week, Adam Redfern, chairman of social enterprise Sesku, had launched a petition urging Wakefield Council to halt the sale of Throstle Farm J&I School so it could look at building a new community centre on the land.

But despite the protest, an auction at Leeds United Football Club went ahead last Friday – and the 2.6 acre Hazel Road site and caretakers’ bungalow were sold to an unknown buyer for £102,000.

Mr Redfern, who had hoped to transform the site into a centre for young people, said: “It’s an opportunity missed.

“When you think about it £102,000 isn’t a lot of money to Wakefield Council. It could have been priceless to the Warwick Estate.”

The social enterprise chief presented a last-ditch petition calling on the council to stop the sale after discovering the site had a guide price of just £25,000.

Mr Redfern “It could have made a real difference to the community and could have changed the face of the town.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported the petition. It was worth trying when you think about what could have been achieved.

“We run a similar scheme is South Kirkby and could have passed on our skills and knowledge to help the community transform the site.

“We’ll still be working in the Warwick Estate to offer sports and training .”

A council spokeswoman confirmed the site had been sold but said: “We are unable to disclose the identity of the purchaser, as they are protected by the Data Protection Act until after the completion of the sale.”