Action demanded over historic Red Lion pub as near-200-year-old Mexborough building crumbles

By Michael Upton | 26/09/2019

Action demanded over historic Red Lion pub as near-200-year-old Mexborough building crumbles
Pictured (from left to right), Bill Lawrence, Mexborough and District Heritage Society, Cllr Sean Gibbons, Cllr Bev Chapman, Cllr Andy Pickering and Margaret Roper, Mexborough and District Heritage Society. 191300-4

HERITAGE campaigners and councillors have renewed their call for a fire-ravaged historic Mexborough pub to be saved from the wrecking ball after it fell victim to vandals.

The disused Red Lion alehouse on Bank Street dates back to the 1820s but was left in a sorry state after a fire in November 2017.

Its owners applied to Doncaster Council last autumn to pull down the remaining structure, saying it was unsafe, but their application was knocked back in March.

The council, which said demolishing the ex-pub would damage the Mexborough conservation area, issued an enforcement notice ordering repairs to the roof but this has yet to happen.

Now calls have been made for the local authority to “throw the book” at the owners and demand the near-200-year-old Red Lion, which closed 12 years ago, is restored or at least protected from further damage.

Mexborough councillor Sean Gibbons said in an email to the council’s enforcement team: “Can we please arrange for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to undertake a full building inspection, which will no doubt deem the building unsafe to the general public, and then throw the book at the current owners?

“The whole situation is wholly unacceptable. 

“The current owners are clearly not bothered in the slightest what happens to this historic building.”

And in a hint that Mexborough was treated as a lesser priority than central Doncaster, he added: “What would DMBC do if the Red Lion was the oldest building in Doncaster?”

Mexborough Heritage Society said the Red Lion was “one of the most important historical structures” in Mexborough and stood within the town’s conservation area,

But a structural report submitted at the time of the 2018 demolition application concluded that  “it would be appropriate to dismantle” the former pub, adding that the fire-damaged floors and roof structure would need be removed to ensure its stability and walls would have to be rebuilt.

Archive documents reveal there were two cottages on the site — one of them used as a pub – until about 1848, when they were demolished to make way for the larger building, which still stands today. 

Plans to convert the pub into 16 apartments were approved in 2014, despite parking concerns.

Plans to convert the pub into 16 apartments were approved in 2014 and Mr Lawrence said he hoped these could be resurrected, with the original period features preserved.

Gill Gillies, assistant director of environment for the council, said: “Notice has been served on the owner to improve the appearance of the building. 

“This includes improving the roof, doors, windows and rainwater elements.

“The compliance period passed on Friday, September 20, and we are continuing to communicate with the owner regarding his plans for the building.”


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