Councillors raise concerns over £1 million plan to turn historic Doncaster building into flats

Councillors have raised concerns about a plan to turn a historic Doncaster building into a series of flats.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:42 pm
Elmfield House today
Elmfield House today

Applicant V Developments want to turn Elmfield House on South Parade into 22 apartments.

The old registry office, which sits close by, is planned to be converted into a further eight flats. A parking space for each property was included in the application.

Elmfield Park and Elmfield House in the 19th century

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Elmfield House was built in 1803 nearly 120 years before Elmfield Park opened to the public.

The buildings were known to a whole generation of Doncaster residents as a youth club, and was also used as the place to register births and deaths until recently.

The developers hope their plans will safeguard the future of the building which has been targeted by vandals since its use by Doncaster Council ended in 2017 and the land sold off.

Planning chiefs at Doncaster Council said the buildings were now 'surplus to requirements' and the site was sold so the building could acquire a new use and attract 'much needed investment'.

But committee members raised concerns about the size of each individual flat and parking problems in the area.

Mark Thompson, a resident who lives close to Elmfield Park said parking was a huge problem in the area and the development would only make the situation worse.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, he said: "We already have a number of flats in the area as it is and because of the parking issues, no one can use or visit the park.

"There's cars parked there all day Monday to Friday. I'm not just thinking of the residents nearby but the rest of the people in the town."

Town ward Coun Dave Shaw echoed Mr Thompson's comments and said there 'wasn't enough parking' despite principal planning officer Gareth Stent said there was.

Coun Jonathan Wood raised concerns about the size of the flats and the 'significant historical importance' to the borough.

"Call me old school, but that to me is a bed sit because the kitchen seems to be in the bedroom," he said.

"Is application the best use of an historic building? A significant historical asset to the town apart from perhaps the Mansion House. In terms of the numbers and the fact it's in a conservation zone I need more convincing.

"I'd have like to have more of a debate on the historical significance before we decide the use of this building. It seems like we're putting the cart before the horse."

Councillors voted in a favour of a site visit before any decision is made. Coun Shaw and Coun Wood requested that highways and conservation officers were present at the trip.