Barnsley resident in disbelief as he's told his home is going to be razed to the ground

Homeowner on Co-Operative Street, Barnsley
-Credit: (Image: Yasmin Wakefield)


Barnsley residents have told Yorkshire Live it’s a “good thing” that the houses on their street are going to be bulldozed - while other homeowners on the street are unaware that it’s even happening.

Barnsley Council has revealed plans to spend almost £3m to buy and demolish 30 terraced homes in Goldthorpe, as part of a wider scheme to build new council housing.

The houses, on Co-Operative Street and Victoria Street, have all been purchased by the council, except for 16 homes where Barnsley Council could not establish the owner.

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14 of the homes have been bought by the council, with the owner voluntarily selling. The council offered market value for the properties, plus seven and a half percent as a ‘basic loss payment’ to landlords.

More than £1.7m has been set aside for purchase costs, and £441,000 has been spent in compensation to homeowners.

A number of houses have already had their windows and doors boarded up with metal in preparation. One woman, who was sat outside the front of her home on Co-Operative Street enjoying her morning coffee, said: “I think it’s a good thing that they’re knocking them down - my house is in the third phase so it won’t be going yet - they’ll probably run out of money by then.”

Victoria Street, Goldthorpe
Victoria Street, Goldthorpe -Credit:Yasmin Wakefield

Her neighbour agreed: “I will be glad to see the back of it, just look at the place - it looks like a dump and there’s rubbish everywhere. I think people have lost respect for the street.”

There are still 16 homes on the streets where the council cannot establish who the owner is, or the land is subject to restrictive covenants – in this case, Barnsley Council has said it will use its compulsory purchasing powers to buy them.

We spoke to one resident who told Yorkshire Live that he had “no idea” that the council was planning to bulldoze his home. Ayman, 39, who has owned his home on Co-operative Street for three years, said: “I saw them boarding up the houses across the road last week with metal but I had no idea what was happening.

“I would have thought with something like this that the council would have sent a letter or at least got in touch and told us but we’ve not heard anything.

Co-operative Street, Goldthorpe, Barnsley
Barnsley Council has said that demolishing the houses will help to address issues in the area including fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and crime -Credit:Yasmin Wakefield

“It’s quite worrying and not a good feeling - I don’t like the fact that they’ve said it’s going to be compulsory, how are they allowed to do that?” Ayman explained that he would be willing to sell his home if the council approached him, however it would depend on the price they offered. He continued: “For my family it’s quite important that we stay in the area because I have children at the school nearby. The area is quite bad for crime and there’s lots of criminals - that’s a downside to living here.”

Across the road a man, who has lived on the street for 15 years, said: “I’ll be glad to see the back of it. It’s got worse and worse - what with the murder that happened in February. It’s scary.” Lazarus Makono, 26 was stabbed to death at a property on Co-operative Street on Wednesday, February 21.

Barnsley Council has already shared hopes that the new homes will create a “safe living environment with reduced levels of antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping and crime”. However some residents don’t think that it will make a difference.

Nine new, energy-efficient council homes will be built on the site of the former buildings, which will ‘diversify’ property types in the area.

A number of properties on Co-Operative Street have already been boarded up -Credit:Yasmin Wakefield
A number of properties on Co-Operative Street have already been boarded up -Credit:Yasmin Wakefield

Kellie, aged 26, who lives on Victoria Street with her partner and two young children, said: “It’s not ideal having to move when I’ve got young kids but it’s not a great area but I don’t mind living here, I’ve not had any trouble myself. There’s nothing we can do really - we don’t have any other option but to move.

“In the past few years the crimes here have gotten worse but even if they build new homes, I’m not sure that that will change.” The council says if it cannot purchase the homes, it could lose funding for the scheme, and if the plans do not go ahead, current issues in Goldthorpe , including crime and anti-social behaviour, will not be addressed.

Local jobs will be created during construction, and the scheme will lead to a reduction in the number of empty properties and turnover of private rented properties in Goldthorpe.

The council will now apply to the Secretary of State to acquire the land where the ownership is unknown ‘as a measure of last resort’. If approved, Barnsley Council will be able to compulsorily acquire the land.

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