What is the future for the site of former school?

South Hiendley parish councillor Konrad Heald outside the former Felkirk school site.
South Hiendley parish councillor Konrad Heald outside the former Felkirk school site.

Questions have been raised over the future of the former High Well School after reports of activity at the site.

The building, earlier known as Felkirk School, has been empty since August last year when its special educational needs pupils were relocated from South Hiendley to a new site at Rookhill Road in Pontefract.

But people living in the area have said a security firm is now guarding the building and lights have been on inside. And people have been speculating about its future.

Clare Baxter, town clerk at South Elmsall Town Council said: “Nothing has really happened since the school was closed down. But now a security firm are in there looking after an empty building and that has made people a little bit suspicious.

“They want to know why the lights are on and what’s happening with it. It seems a big expense to be paying for security on it when the council say they have no plans for it.

“Is it going to be sold? Is it earmarked for projects or is it going to be another 18 months of nothing? We just want to know, what is the future of Felkirk?”

South Hiendley parish councillor Konrad Heald said that the council were “throwing money” at the building and members of the community wanted their say on what happens next.

He said: “What people don’t want is for it to be massively developed. It’s not far from the church and it’s a really aesthetic site.

“It’s our area and I think people here should be able to have their say on what’s going to happen to it.”

Wakefield Council said no plans had been confirmed for the site on High Well Hill Lane.

Marium Haque, service director for education and inclusion said: “High Well School has relocated to a new, fully refurbished site at Rookhill Road in Pontefract. The relocation took place at the end of August last year and the new site opened to pupils in September. We are considering a range of options for the future use of the site in South Hiendley but no decision has yet been made. In the meantime we have taken steps to ensure the site is secured.”

In a letter to Ms Baxter, Hemsworth councillor Glyn Lloyd said: ”No decision has been made about the site. The council could find a use for it or declare it surplus to requirements but as soon as this is happening there will be a meeting with the portfolio holder.”