BARNSLEY Council has negotiated a deal to take over a development in the heart of Hoyland before it goes to auction.

The former Co-op, which closed in 2019, is housed in what was previously the town hall the subject of an application, approved in January last year, to create 21 new apartments through converting old offices.

And an idea floated by area councillors upon the store’s closure, to acquire the 9,013 square foot ground floor, has resurfaced with the authority announcing it’s now set to do so.

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Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “Barnsley Council is in the process of buying the leasehold interest of the former Co-op supermarket in Hoyland.

“The lease was due to be sold at auction this week, but the council was able to negotiate an agreement to acquire it prior to the auction going ahead.

“The council is working with third parties on plans to bring the building back into use.

“These discussions are commercially sensitive so further detail cannot be released at this time.

“However we hope to have exciting news to release about this site in the near future.”

The decision ties into wider regeneration of Hoyland’s town centre which has seen Barnsley Council work with developer Resilienti and see the town’s market moved, a new car park created and additional shops opened including B and M.

The former Co-op site may be made into smaller retail units, as was discussed in 2019.

A previous application for the upper floors of the building to be turned into apartments was refused in 2017, and while this was sent to appeal an inspector ruled in favour of the council.

The new application reduced the number of apartments from the initially slated 27, after issues were raised over room sizes, levels of light and privacy for occupants.

Campaigner Mark Goodison, 30, believes the purchase is positive news for the area.

“I definitely think that it’s a good thing - Hoyland started to look like a boarded up town,” he said.

“I think it would be convenient to be turned into a good indoor market that’s open more than two days a week, and because the premises are quite large I think that would make sense.

“A Post Office branch would also be absolutely great for the area.”

Coun Chris Lamb, who represents the Rockingham ward, also believes that the purchase of the Co-op - which has been empty since 2019 - will brighten up the area.

He told the Chronicle: “It has been empty for a few years, and if it had stayed that way it would have brought the whole of Hoyland town centre down.

“Other businesses would have suffered had it remained empty and so it’s going to be great for the area - it’ll bring life back into the town centre.”