Legal threat in buildings row

Councillor Martin Williams
Councillor Martin Williams

A Thorne councillor is preparing to take legal action after claiming Doncaster Council is neglecting historic buildings in the town’s market place.

Martin Williams said the council had failed in its duty to conserve the properties in Thorne Market Place that have been standing derelict for around 15 years.

Mr Williams has been campaigning for something to be done about the situation since the late ’90s and now says enough is enough.

The Independent councillor now says he will pay for a judicial review out of his own pocket if nothing is done by next summer.

He said: “I have been trying to get the council to do something about this for years and I’m not prepared to let the matter slide.

“I know funds are tight but how can Doncaster Council justify spending millions on Adwick leisure centre to improve facilities yet leave historical building like this to go to rack and ruin.

“Enough is enough it’s time for action on this, I won’t be fobbed off.”

Mr Williams wants a judicial review of the alleged failings.

This is not the first time the councillor has taken matters in to his own hands regarding the derelict buildings.

In 2011 Mr Williams received a warning from Doncaster Council after he hung a 14ft wide banner on the side of the former Hurst’s shop at Thorne market place.

It is one of a number of high-profile buildings which Mr Williams has been campaigning to pressure the authority into restoring.

He placed the banner on the building that said: “To Doncaster Council. Get this building sorted out

“The people of Thorne have had enough.”

But after just three days he had received a hand-delivered notice from Doncaster council warning if the banner was not taken down within 48 hours, enforcement action would be taken and could lead to court action.

Mr Williams now says he will give the council until next summer to take action otherwise he will press ahead with his judicial review plans.

Doncaster Council failed to comment on the matter.