Landmark sale plans are delayed for talks

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PLANS to sell one of Thorne’s landmark buildings have been delayed after MP Caroline Flint raised concerns – angering one of the town’s councillors.

Grade Two listed Thorne Hall has not been in use since it ceased to be operated as a council housing office.

The building was due to go up for auction last week, but it was pulled from the list after it emerged council bosses wanted more time to look at options following a request for a delay by Ms Flint.

Doncaster Council director of regeneration and environment Peter Dale said: “Following a request for more time for local discussion over future options we have withdrawn Thorne Hall from sale at present.

“This is to allow for further consultation with the South Yorkshire Buildings Preservation Trust.”

Thorne ward Coun Martin Williams is angry over the delay and wants the sale sorting out as soon as possible to avoid the building being allowed to fall into disrepair.

He is concerned it could go the same way as the former Fieldside School building in Thorne, which was demolished after years of neglect after it become disused.

He said: “I’ve been trying to sort something out with this building for the last five years.

“No one has been in to buy it in that time, and it has been empty for four or five years. The council is short of money and this would have brought some into the coffers.

“I want to see it brought back into use, and I feel this was one of the best chances of testing the market.

“It is a beautiful building overlooking the park. I don’t want it going the same way as some of the other buildings in Thorne.

“I am unhappy at Caroline Flint intervening.”

But Ms Flint said everyone was wanting the same outcome, which was to see the building brought back into use and preserved.

She said she had asked for a delay to allow herself and other groups, such as the South Yorkshire Buildings Preservation Trust, with an interest in the building to be informed and comment on the plans.

The trust was involved in restoring another historic building in Thorne, at 42 King Street, a project which won an award from the Georgian Society.

She was also concerned there had been no conservation conditions attached to the building for the sale planned for last week.

A meeting is planned to discuss the future of the building.

She said: “There are a number of buildings in Thorne of heritage value.

“There have been some very positive discussions with the council and the council chief executive Rob Vincent about how we can try to put together a plan for these buildings as part of the regeneration of Thorne.”