Doncaster court buildings in closure threat

Doncaster County Court, Waterdale
Doncaster County Court, Waterdale

Doncaster council lose a court and a tribunal centre under a wave of proposed Government cuts.

Ministers are consulting on plans to close 91 courts and tribunals in England and Wales. It would see services moved to shared buildings.

This list includes the Doncaster Tribunal site on Portland Place, and the Doncaster County Court building.

The proposals outlined in a consultation document suggest the tribunal building could be to be integrated within Doncaster Crown Court.

Doncaster tribunal deals with matters related to social security claims.

Doncaster County Court, on Waterdale, would be integrated within Doncaster Magistrates’ Court.

The county court building hears civil cases and family hearings.

The aim is to reduce what Justice Secretary Michael Gove has identified as “surplus capacity”.

Courts under threat include 57 magistrates’ courts, 19 county courts, two crown courts, four tribunal hearing centres and nine combined courts.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service operates 460 courts and tribunal hearing centres.

In a written statement, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for courts and legal aid, Shailesh Vara, said the service’s estate was “underused”.

She said: “Last year over a third of all courts and tribunals were empty for more than 50 [per cent of their available hearing time,” he said.