Vandals and drug users target historic buildings in Warwick – and leave Nazi graffiti on walls

Historic buildings in Warwick are becoming a target for drug users and vandals - and local residents are calling for action.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode
Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode

Windows at the former King’s High School premises in Chapel Street have been smashed windows and graffiti has been sprayed on the walls – including a swastika alongside some words of support for Hitler.

Residents also said there is evidence of drug taking in the building, which has been left unsecured.

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The site is also overgrown with weeds and has become a dumping ground for fly tipping.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode

The school relocated to its new Banbury Road location from the Smith Street site in July 2019 after being there for 140 years.

In July 2020 developers Wake Green (Warwick) Ltd got the green light from Warwick District Council’s Planning Committee to redevelop the site into housing.

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Plans for former King's High School site in Warwick get green light

The plans intended to see the listed and historic buildings converted into homes while the more modern classroom blocks would be demolished to make way for apartments.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode

However this week, residents have been speaking with The Courier and on social media as they are concerned about potential illegal activity at the former school premises – as well as the vandalism.

Colin Goode, who lives in Warwick, said: “After attending planning meetings back prior to Covid, the local residents were shown plans and pictures of what the developers were planning to build and I was quite impressed with what was being proposed as it would have been good for the area and local business.

“Unfortunately after they demolished the old King’s High School and stripped out other buildings on the site, they abandoned the project and left the site.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode

“Over the last couple of years the site has now just become an overgrown jungle of weeds, a dumping ground for fly tipping, none of the buildings are secured so are now attracting youths to come and smash them up, there is evidence of drug usage within the buildings and they are being sprayed with graffiti.

"This is happening as none of the buildings are secure and you can just walk in.

"We are now experiencing thefts around the area and I put this to the fact the area is attracting undesirables due to the run of buildings they can hide in.

“There are also some lovely, listed period properties that belong to the King’s High site that are now just being left to rack and ruin losing original features due to rotting timbers.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode

"Considering there is a housing shortage you would think they would sell off the parts of the site that can be very quickly sold and put back to residential use.

“This site is in the heart of the town centre and doesn’t represent what Warwick is about, it’s a real eye sore and dragging the area down.”

The Warwick Central Safer Neighbourhood Team at Warwickshire Police have said that they are aware of the issues and are making enquiries.

The Courier is currently attempting to get in touch with Wake Green (Warwick) Ltd but have so far been unsuccessful.

Anyone with any information can contact Warwickshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents in Warwick are growing concerned about the vandalism at the former King's High School site in Warwick. Photo by Colin Goode