The Victorian Society has launched a campaign to halt plans by Bradford Council to demolish artist David Hockney’s former school in Eccleshill.
The conservation group has attacked the proposals to flatten Hutton Middle School in Eccleshill - approved by the council this week - warning it is part of a worrying wider trend to demolish historic Victorian and Edwardian school buildings across the country.
Director of the society Christopher Costelloe said the demolition was the ‘tip of the iceberg’ with a raft of similar schools facing the wrecking ball in 2015.
Costelloe said: ‘It is a real shame that Bradford Council has approved plans to demolish Hockney’s former school. The handsome building seems suitable for conversion into flats – instead Bradford will lose part of its history and identity.
‘However, this one case is just the tip of the iceberg. We are seeing increasing numbers of applications to demolish Victorian and Edwardian schools – even where the site will continue as a school. Councils should endeavour to ensure that these buildings are preserved where possible.’
The Society has highlighted four other schools across the country which are on threatened with demolition including Mount Pleasant Primary School in Kirklees, Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton, Cranbury Road Infants School in Eastleigh and 179 Hornsey Road, London.
David Hockney’s brother John also spoke out in support of saving the former Hutton Middle School in Eccleshill, saying ‘without these important places there is no history’.
The Hutton School’s demolition will follow the demolition of another Victorian former Hockney school, the Wellington School.