Confusion remains over access to fire-hit Victoria Road School

Confusion surrounds access to a historic Aberdeen school building – more than a month after it was engulfed by flames.

More than 40 firefighters battled the blaze at the disused Victoria Road School on May 10.

Days after the fire, Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service announced a probe into the incident.

Picture by Aberdeen Harbour Tours

However, it is understood a joint investigation has not been possible since the building is not safe to enter.

Aberdeen City Council, which still owns the site, granted access to the potential buyer Grampian Housing Association and Torry Development Trust in order to safeguard the building’s security.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A joint investigation has not been possible. However, inquiries are still ongoing.”

The roof of the former school, which closed in 2008, partly fell in during the incident and there was significant damage.

Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter

A spokeswoman for Grampian Housing Association said: “I can confirm we have had permission from Aberdeen City Council for the design team of Grampian Housing Association and Torry Development Trust to access the Victoria Road School site.

“This was to assess the extent of the damage caused by the fire and for the purposes of assessing safeguarding works and site security.”

Councillor Catriona Mackenzie said: “I’m baffled that there isn’t a crystal-clear response to what is going on with the investigation into the fire, and at the confusion around what kind of access police are getting.

“We all want to see progress at Victoria Road School and I’m glad the potential buyers have been able to proceed with that, but I believe if it’s at all possible to find out what caused the fire then the community deserves to know.

“I’ll be making further inquiries with council officers and finding out what will be done to give local residents some peace of mind.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “Aberdeen City Council continues to work with the proposed purchaser for the site which includes permitting access to the site by them and/or their contractors to help them progress their project.”

Ross Thomson, MP for Aberdeen South, said: “I think all parties involved want to see progress at the site. Clearly, police will need access to the building in order to properly conduct their investigation.

“However, I also understand that given the extent of the damage, it is very important to ensure that the building is safe to enter.

“I hope this will be resolved as quickly as possible.”