Empty school in limbo as supermarket deal ditched

Curriehill Primary has been branded an 'eyesore'
Curriehill Primary has been branded an 'eyesore'
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Residents living near a disused school which has been plagued by vandalism face another setback as plans to turn it into a supermarket are ditched.

Locals have branded the former Curriehill Primary, which closed in 2007, an “eyesore” since it was boarded up in a bid to keep vandals out.

Several attempts have been made to develop the Lanark Road West site, yet all have fallen through.

The latest proposal, from a developer who bought the site in 2010, was to turn it into a supermarket, however it has emerged this deal has also collapsed.

“We need to either do something with Curriehill school or at least get it demolished,” said Brenda McGovern, treasurer of Currie Community Council.

The 2.67-acre site has now been put back on the market by the city council, with a closing date of February 15.

The local community wants something to be done with the building as soon as possible and is hoping any future developer will want to turn it into housing.

Ms McGovern said: “There is a feeling that it would be nice if it was used as a mixed development with something for the community, like a cafe or some industrial units.

“On the whole, what I would like to see is some housing and I personally think it’s a very good place for elderly people to live.”

Fresh security fears were raised at the disused school in May 2010 after the Evening News revealed someone had gained access to the building to take photographs.

Images of abandoned classrooms, corridors and gym halls were posted on YouTube, showing how run down the building had become.

Scenes showed evidence of natural dilapidation and vandalism, which sparked concerns about the security of the site.

It came after council bosses were forced to increase security in 2008 after reports youths were using it as a drinking den.

The following year, a teenage boy narrowly escaped injury following a fire in an outhouse.

Pentland Hills councillor Ricky Henderson described the current situation as a “potential health hazard”.

He said: “The local community are not against any development on site.

“There wasn’t total consensus on whether the supermarket was a good idea, but there certainly is a desire to see something done with it.

“It’s a disappointment that the sale has fallen through because the site itself is an eyesore.

“There’s a local need for housing, either for older people or for affordable housing.”

A council spokesperson said: “The former Curriehill Primary School is currently being remarketed and we are hopeful that a suitable buyer will be found. In the meantime, we have taken a number of steps to secure the building and ensure that the site is as safe as possible.”