Tuesday, February 11, 2014

News: Demolition for Doncaster Gate

By

Rotherham Council expects that demolition will commence at the historic former Doncaster Gate Hospital in Rotherham within the next few weeks.

In October, Rotherham Council's cabinet approved plans to demolish Rotherham's first purpose-built hospital, which is in its ownership, in a bid to save costs and attract a greater interest in the opportunities for development of the site.

In November, a bid led by the Rotherham District Civic Society was submitted to the council under The Community Right to Bid but this was rejected as the current use of Doncaster Gate does not "further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community" as the building is vacant.

The council gave interested parties until 24 January 2014 to bring forward any redevelopment proposals which retain all or a significant part of the building. No proposals were received by the council.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development Services told a recent meeting of council's cabinet: "The Council was approached by a third party who visited site and attended two meetings with the Council. This third party, employed an architect and surveyors to advise them on the possibility of making the site work whilst maintaining some of the original buildings. Unfortunately, this third party informed the Council on Friday, 31st January 2014 that they have decided not to make a bid for the site.

"A number of meetings with the Civic Society had also been held in order to both keep them informed and to identify any opportunities to retain any part of the existing structure.

"To date, the Council had not received any proposals to retain any significant part of the building. It was proposed that a number of key stones be recovered from the Doncaster Gate fa├žade of the original hospital building and retained to create a memorial to the building, when the site is redeveloped."

The substantial asbestos and soft strip works are underway and demolition is due to start in the next two weeks and be completed in April.

The cleared site is set to be offered back to the market in early spring 2014 with the council expecting sufficient interest to result in a redevelopment that would add to the regeneration of this edge of town centre site.

The historic buildings in Rotherham town centre were put up for sale by Rotherham Council as a development site in March 2012 after serving as council offices for the previous three years alongside the adjacent health village and GP surgery. The council agreed to dispose of the freehold with vacant possession of the main office buildings and surrounding outbuildings after other council properties were refurbished and the new offices at Riverside House were completed.

The Victorian, pavilion-type hospital building dates back to the 1870's and was developed at a cost of around £9,000, raised through local donations. A major factor in the hospital's creation was to provide Rotherham with a facility that could serve the many local workers who became victims of industrial accidents.

Designed by Mallison & Bakewell of Leeds and built in a striking Tudor Revival style, complete with stone mullioned windows, the hospital underwent modernisation in the 1930's and the modern Health Village extension was completed in 2004. St Ann's Medical Centre remains on the site but many health facilities were relocated to the £12m NHS Rotherham Community Health Centre across town when it opened in 2009.

Also in 2009, the Doncaster Gate Action Group presented a petition to the council calling for the "saving of the Doncaster Gate Hospital buildings for community use rather than being sold to a private developer."

Campaigners fighting to save the building from the wrecking ball have been hampered by English Heritage knocking back an application to have it listed and by Rotherham Council not extending the town's conservation area to cover Doncaster Gate, despite the cabinet member approving the extension in 2008 based on the recommendations of the council's own officers.

Looking ahead, site surveys carried out for the borough's Local Plan identified the 1.18 hectare site as suitable for office use and for other community facilities. It added that it would also be suitable for residential development "which would contribute towards the Renaissance aspirations for the town centre and meeting housing requirements in a sustainable urban location."

Images: Doncaster Gate Heritage project

6 comments:

Anonymous,  February 11, 2014 at 9:34 AM  

Another peice of history in the town to go then. I suspect this will become a car park for the next ten years....

Meanwhile the Guest and Chrimes building accross town is left to rot and crumble further instead of being pulled down.

What "social interests of the local community" does that building serve then?

Anonymous,  February 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM  

It is disgusting that Rotherham can only think of demolishing its heritage instead of preserving it for the future. They can make all the excuses they like but that is what they are doing. We all know what money has been spent on this building and it wasn't empty they have emptied it. It is going to save future spending, because they need to pay for Riverside! The public knows what the council are up to. we are not the idiots they believe us to be!

Anonymous,  February 11, 2014 at 5:03 PM  

I was under the impression that the Council was democratically elected to serve the public and put it's best interests first. It appears their interpretation is that once they are in they are there to dictate to the public what it thinks they should want without any deference to the people that allowed them to be there in the first place. Some of their decisions appear so biased against public opinion that one could be forgiven for believing underhand dealings may clouded some of their judgment.

Anonymous,  March 9, 2014 at 11:58 AM  

One suspects that if the council owned All Saints Minster, they would demolish that and sell the land for redevelopment! There is no heritage of any worth in this town any longer.

Anonymous,  April 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM  

How can it be justified to spend so much of our money on metal imaginary ears of corn that no-one likes but completely ignore our wishes where such a beautiful old building is concerned? And what's more, an iconic building of rotherham's! No doubt destined to be housing for our ethnic/Eastern European friends or offices. Do we need anymore blocks of empty prime retail/office space? Get a grip rotherham council!!

Anonymous,  May 1, 2014 at 12:09 PM  

I wonder who might be gaining from this?

Sponsored by:
Members:
Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP