Doncaster council plans to take control of major schemes in town centre

Doncaster High School for Girls site, Chequer Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Former Girls School MC 1
Doncaster High School for Girls site, Chequer Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Former Girls School MC 1

Doncaster Council hopes to put a number of high- profile development projects on fast forward to help transform the centre of the town.

It is pulling out of a deal with developer Muse to try to proceed with major schemes itself, potentially including a cinema in the town centre, and the transformation of the former Doncaster Girls’ High School.

The borough’s cabinet has given the green light to plans for the authority to take back control of projects which had been covered previously by a deal with Muse, which previously led to the development of the Civic Building, Cast theatre and Sir Nigel Gresley Square.

It wants to start projects Muse has not felt able to move forward, because of the economic climate.

The authority recently announced plans to develop land at Doncaster Lakeside called the Herten Triangle, after the scheme had stalled, by moving the scheme forward itself. It is now looking at a similar plan for several sites covered under the arrangement it had with Muse.

Mayor Ros Jones said: “The development agreement with Muse was signed in 2009 and it has delivered some good outcomes for Doncaster, making an important contribution to regeneration of the town centre. The Waterdale area particularly has seen some excellent new developments including our fantastic theatre Cast, a new civic square, civic offices, redevelopment of the multi-storey car park and new housing at The Gables. Unfortunately the agreement also coincided with the economic downturn, and not all of the outcomes anticipated in the original agreement were delivered. This includes a number of sites that the council still wishes to see developed, such as at the civic quarter and the old girls’ school site.

“By mutually agreeing to vary the development agreement now, it gives the council the opportunity to explore alternative ways of bringing forward these sites, to help drive forward our plans for the town centre and the economy of our borough.”