A FORMER primary school will have to be demolished after being wrecked by an arson attack.
The disused Maltby Hall Infants will have to be pulled down following the blaze last Wednesday, Rotherham Borough Council confirmed.
Three fire crews were at the scene off Rolleston Avenue from 9pm until midnight.
A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: “The fire was in the main hall and firefighters were able to contain it to that area, but there has been quite a bit of smoke damage to the rest of the building.”
An investigation into the cause was now under way, she added, but the investigating officer said he believed the fire had been deliberately started.
The council’s corporate property manager, Paul Smith, said it had been agreed following consultation that the school buildings should be demolished.
“Demolition was planned for October 2016 but an ecological survey of the site established a bat colony roosting in the main school building,” he said.
“As bats are protected by European law, a licence was required from Natural England before works could start.
“All the necessary approvals have now been received and the demolition of the school will start on February 27.
“Demolition is expected to take six weeks to complete.
“Following demolition, options for the future of the site will be explored in further detail.”