‘Knock down the Doncaster eyesores’

Councillor Martin Williams outside empty buildings in Silver Street, Thorne.
Councillor Martin Williams outside empty buildings in Silver Street, Thorne.

Two historic buildings in the centre of a Doncaster town should be demolished, a councillor claims.

Independent Coun Martin Williams has in the past been campaigning for the restoration of the two properties at Market Place, Thorne.

But with no work in the pipeline to bring the increasingly derelict buildings into use, he is now urging council bosses to arrange for the Grade II listed properties to be knocked down if current funding applications fail.

He said: “They’ve been empty for about 15 years, and have been said to be great examples of 17th century merchants’ houses.

“One was once an ironmonger and the other a chip shop, so they have been altered a lot.

“Now they are ruins, and I’m no longer sure what heritage we are trying to save, to be honest.

“No one is prepared to put their hand in their pocket to allow them to be done up. There is a housing grant application and a National Lottery application in the pipeline but, if these fail, I think we should de-list them and demolish them. How else can we regenerate the market town?”

He said a staircase and a fireplace which had been said to be important were no longer in the building.

Planning application for the buildings was turned town before the credit crunch, including one scheme which would have kept the frontage of the buildings.

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment at Doncaster Council, said: “We are working with the owner of the building, the South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust and local community groups to try to secure funding to renovate these buildings and bring them back in to use.

“Two applications for funding are being pursued at the present.”