Derelict Wednesbury school could be demolished for housing

An eyesore former school in Wednesbury that has been derelict for more than three years could be demolished to make way for housing.

The former Manor High School in Friar Park, Wednesbury
The former Manor High School in Friar Park, Wednesbury

The old Manor High School, on the Friar Park estate, closed in July 2012.

Since then it has sat in a sorry state, with smashed windows and an asbestos warning graffitied across the front of the building.

The proposal would come as part of The Sandwell Housing Zone scheme, which will allow for more than 700 homes to be built in the Friar Park area over the next 10 years.

At the moment it is not known how many homes would be built on the site.

Councillor Joy Edis, who represents the Friar Park ward, said the development would be welcome – with plans currently in their early stages.

She said: “We are hoping that plans are going through to build houses on there and it will be demolished and the new properties built on there.

“All of the side of that road down to the Walsall Road will hopefully have houses on there – it will be a huge new estate coming to the area.

“It has stood like it is since being closed three years ago so now this would definitely be welcome in the area. It will be good when the school comes down.

“At the moment its at the very early stages but the development is being talked about a lot.

“The three ward councillors are all hoping that it will be knocked down and the work for the houses will start on it.”

The building closed after Manor High merged with the Menzies High School to create The Phoenix Collegiate in September 2010.

The new school operated from both sites for two years until the Manor High buildings were eventually closed down in July 2012.

Manor High School opened in 1968 on the Friar Park estate.

But claims that exam results attained by school leavers were constantly low, along with the demand for places falling by the 1990s, saw many parents of pupils living in the catchment area choose for them to attend other schools.

Alongside Wednesbury, The Sandwell Housing Zone includes Grove Lane, Smethwick, which could welcome up to 900 homes.

The Friar Park area is a 39-hectare site jointly owned by Sandwell Council and Severn Trent plc.

Grove Lane involves a group of sites, amounting to 30 hectares in multiple ownership, which between them could accommodate around 900 new homes.

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Comments for: "Derelict Wednesbury school could be demolished for housing"

RW1

Am I missing something here?

This intellectually challenged council with a trail of massive failures behind it, announces there is a severe shortage of school places in the Wednesbury area .

So to correct this problem it thinks bulldozing a secondary school to build more homes with children who will need a school is a good plan ?

Fred Karno's traveling circus was run better

A Lone Voice

There are ""planning obligations" associated with developments of this nature that will require the developer to improve or provide new facilities required as a result of their building programme.

So the Council will derive some benefit from this development as the developers might build additional school(s) for the Council or make a contribution if they feel the Council might be better placed to arrange for additional facilities.

These "obligations" were introduced to stop developers moving into an area, building lots of houses and then leaving various public bodies to "pick up the tab" once they had departed.

RW1

What was once called 106 agreements before the law changed, the Americans call "Pay to play " , which the USA now say they are looking to outlaw for obvious reasons.

These "obligations " can be spent as far away as Cradley heath with no benefit to any Friar park resident who need schools not houses

AndyH

So,

I did a teaching practice there in '98......under a great teacher called George Smith who was inspirational. It served it's area and should not have been closed. But like Dudley did with Pensnett school.....councillors look at headline figures and make a decision without looking at the bigger picture.

Manor needed funding, positive promotion and top quality resources. It needed inspirational teachers going in, knowing that they were going to work in a challenging environment and that they would need to stay for a few years and not see the school as a stepping stone to elsewhere. It needed strong SLT who would help the area and their families....and that would challenge the area to aspire to be better than the thought they could ever be. It also needed a governing body who would fight for the school.....

It needed staff who knew that they were challenging 40 odd years of social engineering and families who had become reliant on benefits for 30 years or more. It needed hope........nothing more or less. It needed to be able to engage with families and help them raise their aspirations and to want their kids to do and be better than they ever thought they could be

It needed help not disinterest. Shame on Sandwell.......I enjoyed my teaching practice there and the students deserve a school in the area.

It needed what we all need...a fair chance.

Martacus Redd

I seem to remember this development coming up in E&S reports prior to the last local elections & then after another stunning & unexpected victory by the Labour Group in Sandwell it was shunted into one of the sidings in the adjacent Bescot marshalling yards. Strange that, although I bet most Friar Park folk didn't realise they had 3 councillors.

Well whoever knocks the school down good luck because by all accounts the place is full of asbestos & once the house buyers have moved in they can breathe in all those lovely non toxic fumes off the nearby friendly M6 while they have a barbeque & drink a nice cava in their back yards.

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