A FIRE-HIT antisocial behaviour hotspot building could soon be demolished much to the delight of a local councillor.
The former youth centre, on Overdale Avenue in Bank End, has long been a target for gangs of youths intent on causing damage in the local area.
The land is currently owned by South Yorkshire Police as the two semi-detached properties on the site housed officers on the site.
However, following the youth centre’s closure almost a decade ago the area has become a hotspot for youngsters.
On Wednesday, Dr Alan Billings attended the site alongside local councillors John Clarke and Roy Bowser to assess the damage.
John told the Chronicle: “Adjacent to the family centre at Bank End is the old youth club.
“Over a number of years we’ve been asking the police to do something with it as it belongs to them.
“Children in the area have been accessing the old buildings and setting fires.
“We just want something doing with it either refurbishing or demolishing it for the time being until there is a plan to do something with it.
“Berneslai Homes were interested in buying it from the police but they couldn’t come to an agreement so that’s fallen through.
“It is a problem, we don’t want the youths to get hurt.”
John hopes a resolution can be found potentially with the reintroduction of a youth club to support youngsters across his ward.
“Bank End has been classed as a hotspot area for antisocial behaviour by the council,” he added.
“We’re trying to address that with all agencies but it is a problem.
“It’s a shame that the youth club closed down.
“If we go back about seven years the youth service used to provide workers.
“If we could get it back to a youth club then it would address some of those issues that we do have in this area.
“Hopefully we can get a resolution.”
A number of fires have been started on the site with potentially serious consequences due to its location.
“The building itself wasn’t a police station, it was two semi-detached houses where officers used to live,” he said.
“It is close to the family centre and the school so we’re anxious about it being set alight and then causing other buildings to be on fire, too.”
South Yorkshire Police have submitted a planning application to demolish the buildings in order for them to sell it to potential suitors.
The application is currently under consideration with the council’s planning board, and a target decision date has been passed.
Superintendent Emma Wheatcroft said: “We appreciate the community has concerns regarding the former police houses located at Overdale in Barnsley.
“Our officers continue to work with the community to tackle those concerns - particularly incidences of antisocial behaviour which have taken place at the site.
“We have applied to have these properties demolished, and the work we are carrying out has to comply with all legislative requirements regarding the proposed demolition.
“We thank those communities for their patience while we work towards the demolition phase.”