A school’s buildings affected by reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) will be demolished as part of a major redevelopment.

St Leonard’s Catholic School in Durham has had a planning application approved by the county council to start demolition on the buildings, after they were deemed unsafe.

Hundreds of students have been taught in temporary accommodation since the discovery of Raac in 2023.

The new school site will include a sports hall and an assembly hall, as well as a dining hall.

Only Springwell Hall and the sixth form building will be retained as part of the new development, with the majority of the school’s existing buildings to be demolished.

Demolition work is due to start in the coming weeks, while the EFAB Building will be knocked down in August 2026 after asbestos removal.

However, one household – which is next to the school – told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it was worried about being surrounded by building works.

“We are concerned that the second demolition of buildings, close to the eastern exit, is not to commence until August 2026.

“At the end of the planned second demolition, the development will have been under way for over two years. If County Hall is also to be demolished during this time it will only exacerbate the feeling of being sandwiched between building sites.”

There were also objections from residents and civic group the City of Durham Trust about the number of trees due to be felled as part of the demolition works.

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