Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bailiffs evict school protesters

Former Royal Park School
The former school is boarded up

Leeds residents who occupied a council-owned former school over concerns it was falling into disrepair have been evicted.

Some residents in the Hyde Park area moved into what was the Royal Park Primary School building two weeks ago.

They claim it has not been properly maintained, despite council assurances it would be retained for community use.

Leeds City Council said it was now inviting bids for the restoration and future use of the facility.

The council was granted a court order on Monday to evict the residents, who left the building peacefully on Tuesday.

The school was closed down in 2004.

Residents said since moving into the building they had been carrying out repairs themselves, including mending the roof and painting.

Strong feelings

They said despite being evicted, their campaign to restore the building would continue.

Andrew Beresford, one of those who occupied the former school, said: "We still feel as though we have the moral high ground. This is everybody's building."

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: "We appreciate that residents have very strong feelings about the former Royal Park Primary School and we understand that people want the issues surrounding the building's future resolved as soon as possible.

"However, it is also important to understand that since the building ceased to be required as a school, the council has been working to bring forward schemes which would retain the building in ways which support services or activities for the community. "

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The protesters said they planned to continue with their campaign to restore the disused school.



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