Grantham: Former Islamic school for boys, Flintham, is a derelict building for youths 'to misbehave and take drugs'
A former Islamic school has become a draw for young people to misbehave and take drugs, it is claimed, yet it can’t be demolished because of bats.
In the most recent incident, more than a dozen fires were deliberately set at the former Islamic school off Inholms Road, Flintham, which is derelict.
On June 29, firefighters were called to the former Al-Jamia Al-Islamia Institute, which used to be a boarding school for boys until its closure in 2007, and were greeted by 14 fires, which they say was arson.
Smoke could be seen billowing from the building.
Residents have long called for the buildings to be pulled down.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “There has been a history of anti-social behaviour on this site and the owner is investigating additional security measures.”
Since the school’s closure, the property has been a target of vandalism, arson and anti-social behaviour. There have also been many concerns locally the building could collapse.
On Friday and Saturday nights, it is said to be a draw for young people. Residents say up to a dozen vehicles can be seen parked up and there are allegations of drug-dealing.
On previous occasions, youths gained access to what is left of the roof and were seen skimming slates down on to the road below.
Youths have been blamed for starting isolated fires in the past, but nothing on the scale of the recent arson.
The owners, the Madni Trust, were served with a notice by Rushcliffe Borough Council in 2018 to demolish the buildings, originally the officers’ mess and allied buildings for RAF Syerston, but the notice expired.
It is understood Rushcliffe Borough Council went to court and successful gained permission to demolish the buildings itself and have the cost of that, and the site clearance, placed as a charge on the land. There would then be a legal obligation to pay back the £90,000 cost once redevelopment began.
However, the action has been put on hold and the council is now working with the trust.
An issue said to be holding things up is the presence of bats.
“This has gone on for ten years. Residents are sick to the back teeth of it and the parish council never stop talking about it,” said a resident.
The site had permission for 90 homes, which has now lapsed.
A borough spokesman said: “The council has been working proactively with owners the Madni Trust to find a solution to resolve the issues of the site.
“Further ecological studies are currently being undertaken which have been commissioned by the landowner after we served a formal notice to require demolition of the buildings.
“The council was unable to demolish the buildings due to the presence of bats, a protected species, and has been investigating responsible mitigation measures with the landowner.”
The Madni Trust was approached for comment.