Plan to build shops at Doncaster ‘eyesore’

Doncaster Councillor Martin Williams with his banner on the derelict building in Thorne Market Place
Doncaster Councillor Martin Williams with his banner on the derelict building in Thorne Market Place
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Two ‘eyesore’ listed buildings could be demolished as part of a bid to re-develop a site near Thorne market.

Commercial Development Projects Ltd has put in an application to Doncaster Council asking for permission to knock down the former Hirst’s hardware and market chip shop.

The buildings have been empty for decades and have been the subject of calls for action for many years.

The property was bought by the current owners in April 2005 with a view to developing the site, before the building was given Grade Two listed status by English Heritage later in November 2005.

Talks have been taken place between the building’s owners, Doncaster Council and Historic England about proposals to develop the building.

Thorne and Moorends Doncaster Council ward councillors Joe Blackham, Susan Durant and Mark Houlbrook issued a joint statement on the plans, describing the plans as “great news” for the town.

They said: “This is the start to much-needed development and investment within the town centre, also addressing what has been an eyesore for many years.”

Thorne Town Council leader Martin Williams said he was pleased it would be redeveloped but was unhappy that work was not arranged years ago at a time when the original 18th century building’s frontage may still have been saveable.

Edward Ledwidge, partner in Montagu Evans LLP, who are acting as agents for the scheme, said the demolition was linked to a proposal to develop a new retail unit at the site.

He said the developer had drawn up a Heritage Statement showing clear justification for the loss by demolition of the grade two listed shops at 1-2 Market Place, enabling a long term vacant key town centre site to be brought back into viable and appropriate use.

He added the design of the proposals represented a high quality design for the area.