Pit head baths set to be demolished

THE fight to keep Kiveton pit head baths has been lost after councillors approved its demolition.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th September 2012, 5:48 pm

The historic landmark on Colliery Road was paid for and built by miners in 1938, so they could shower before going home after work.

The Grade II listed building has been at the centre of controversy in recent years and since the pit closed in 1994, the building has fallen into serious disrepair.

At a planning meeting last week Rotherham Council’s planning commiittee considered an application by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) for the building demolition.

Councillors heard that there is considerable recurring cost to the tax payer in keeping the structure safe and that a viable alternative for the building has not been found.

They agreed to grant permission for the building to be demolished, subject to approval from the Secretary of State.

In 1999 Yorkshire Forward, the defunct development agency, applied for the de-listing of the Grade II building so that it could demolished to allow for open casting at the site, but permission was refused.

Several years later Kiveton Park and Wales Community Development Trust, working in partnership with Yorkshire Forward, took forward the development of the project to turn the baths into a multi-use community centre, but they never developed.

Then in 2005 the Guardian reported news of a £4 million revamp including business workspaces and a mining heritage centre - but again it never materialised.

In 2009, permission was granted for 18 apartments, an office and cafe, but the development was never pursued.

The report which went before the planning committee said that owing to the unsuccessful attempts to secure a future for the building there is no viable future use for it in the medium term.

A HCA spokesman said the pit head baths were transferred to them in August 2011, as part of the closure of Yorkshire Forward.

He said: “The HCA has continued the work of Yorkshire Forward to find a suitable long term use for the building and adjoining land, however we were unable to identify a viable alternative use for the building and there is no potential purchaser, but there is considerable recurring cost to the tax payer in keeping the structure safe.”

“Following discussions, both English Heritage and Rotherham Council agreed that the building could be demolished, subject to approval by the planning committee. The application for demolition was considered by the committee on 30th August and approved subject to confirmation by the Secretary of State.”

“All of the valuable fittings and contents of the baths will be catalogued and stored until a suitable alternative permanent location can be found and the HCA is in active discussions with local organisations about this.”