Protect Doncaster's Historic Buildings

Chris Whitwood, Yorkshire Party candidate for Mayor of Doncaster, outlines bold plan to protect Doncaster's historic buildings and ensure our community's history and identity.

In a second of a series of five policy announcements ahead of this May’s Mayoral election, Chris Whitwood, the Yorkshire Party candidate for Mayor of Doncaster, has announced a plan to protect Doncaster’s at-risk historic buildings.

Chris explained,
“I’ve spoken to hundreds of Doncaster residents in the last few months and a great many people have told me that they feel Doncaster is neglected. This neglect is no more evident than in Doncaster’s wonderful, historic buildings, too many of which appear to have been left to crumble by Doncaster Council and seemingly unscrupulous developers.

“The plan I am announcing today will change that.”

Under Chris Whitwood’s plan, within one month of his election, Doncaster Council will complete a thorough audit of buildings with historic value that are potentially at-risk. The results of this audit will inform new council policies, which will be designed to ensure Doncaster’s magnificent history is no longer left to crumble. These new policies could include new planning guidelines containing a presumption against the demolition of any building identified as having historic value, and an aggressive programme of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to ensure developers no longer feel able to destroy Doncaster’s heritage.

Chris Whitwood added,

“For too long, Doncaster Council has sat idly by while our community’s history and identity has been destroyed. This will change on the 4th May.”

Showing 3 reactions

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  • commented 2017-04-12 19:40:48 +0100
    Hi Linda and John,

    Thanks for your support for the idea.

    With regard to funding, Doncaster Council is in the privileged position of being able to outline local planning guidelines. As mayor, I would use these powers to stipulate conditions that would mean developers who wish to buy or develop land would have to restore historic buildings rather than demolish them. Therefore the cost would not be footed by the tax payer. Favourable rates may be used to encourage developers to invest in particular buildings/areas. However, these would not be a cost to the council as many of the buildings are abandoned and therefore not generating revenue at present anyway. Therefore, the plan would be revenue neutral and is more of a culture shift than frivolous investment (especially given the current tightness of council budgets).

    Also, whilst I will not shy away from potentially having to use Compulsory Purchase Orders where necessary, these would be very much a last resort and I am sure that developers and local business will realise that protecting our historic buildings is in both their best interests and the interests of the people of Doncaster. I hope that clarifies things a little. If you’ve any other comments or suggestions feel free to ask.

    Best wishes,
  • commented 2017-04-12 13:09:44 +0100
    A great idea but with a major flaw…. Money. Yet another armchair politician who thinks that money appears by magic. Tell us where you are going to get all this money from to buy properties. This government has already cut over £100 million from the council budget. The majority of properties as it appears you are already aware are privately owned. The council do actually take care of the properties that they own
  • commented 2017-04-12 10:35:48 +0100
    Great initiative , but what about the practicalities, where will the money come from for the audit and the CPO’s? Considering all the government funding cutts at the moment?
    How about a proactive plan of redevelopment collaborating with developers to turn these buildings into useful places like, hotels, apartments etc?
    And how about full visibility of where 106 money is coming from and where it’s being spent back in the community.

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