Doncaster Council has been urged to broker a solution to an ongoing problem with an eyesore building in Thorne town centre.
Over 17 years of campaigning to redevelop 1-2 Market Place has seen no movement, and now Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has stepped into the ring to see that matters are moved forward.
She said resolving the issue is one of the most important problems facing Thorne, adding: “Since I became the MP for Thorne in 2010, this issue has dominated the concerns of businesses and local conservation groups. The issue has dragged on for years, yet negotiations with the owner of 1-2 Market Place have gone at a snail’s pace, and with every month that passes the frustration of residents and local businesses grows.
“It has been clear for months this listed building cannot be redeveloped as it is, but English Heritage, the guardians of listed buildings, also rightly insist on alternative plans being signed and approved so Thorne doesn’t end up with an empty site in the heart of the town.
“Doncaster Council is crucial to brokering the solution, and it is vital they step up efforts to move plans forward in the interests of Thorne.”
One of those instrumental in the years of campaigning is Councillor Martin Williams who said: “The council have got to get their act together, I’m not having it any longer. There is a local developer who wants to buy and develop the site. The council have failed in their statutory duty for this principal town to preserve and enhance the conservation area. The only thing they’re conserving are 40 pigeons which sit on the roof.”
Thorne Business Group, established in 2013, has identified the building as the number one issue to enable the town to move forward.
Spokesman Darren Wilding said: “The overwhelming feeling among local businesses is that until the issues relating to 1-2 Market Place have been satisfactorily resolved we will always be fighting a losing battle.”
Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment, said: “We have been actively working with the owner and English Heritage. The result is the owner has agreed to put the properties up for sale at a value to be decided by the district valuer. The properties are currently being valued and the owner is planning to put them on the open market within the next few months.”