Centre’s new wall causing concerns

Warmsworth Primary schools entry in the Frenchgate Centre's Jubilee exhibition. Picture: Marie Caley D3744MC
Warmsworth Primary schools entry in the Frenchgate Centre's Jubilee exhibition. Picture: Marie Caley D3744MC

A PARTITION wall erected at Doncaster’s Frenchgate Centre has sparked a row over safety.

Michael Green, aged 41, of Bridge Grove, contacted The Star voicing worries about the structure, built between the train station and the centre’s escalator, which he claims could be potentially dangerous to the visually impaired.

Since the wall was erected in March, Mr Green has been in correspondence with Doncaster Council, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Network Rail, East Coat Trains and town mayor Peter Davies about the issue, but said so far he has received no satisfactory response.

Engineer Michael said: “I’ve been trying to persuade them it’s not a very good place to put it. There was no consultation whatsoever and this has been compounded by a poor design which impacts on customers.

“This new partition now takes customers on an unnecessary detour which brings them blindly into conflict with other people. For people with impaired vision it can be quite dangerous.”

Mr Green added: “I have been told the reason behind the partition is to retain heat for the commercial eating areas directly upstairs.

“If this was the case couldn’t other alternatives have been considered instead of to the detriment of the customers?”

Frenchgate Centre manager Peter Cook said: “The wall in question was erected in the correct manner. As the wall does not cross a public right of way it does not require a planning application and hasn’t breached any building regulations. We are, however, aware of the concerns and these are live issues for the Frenchgate and the landlord.”

Scott Cardwell, Doncaster Council’s assistant director for development, agreed the wall does not cross a public right of way, require a planning application or breach building regulations.

He said: “There is nothing further we can do in this case. However we will continue to work with the Frenchgate Centre management team to look at any further improvements.”