Friday, August 16, 2013

News: Hotel could replace Guest & Chrimes

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Feasibility work is being carried out on a potential 100-bed riverside hotel surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops, to replace the former Guest & Chrimes foundry close to Rotherham town centre.

Rothbiz was first with the news that Rotherham United was drawing up a planning application for the full demolition of the former Guest & Chrimes foundry, citing a lack of interest in developing the previous scheme of partial demolition and rising costs of remedial work.

Now a design and access statement submitted with the latest application by agents, Signet Planning, includes illustrative sketches of what could replace the Grade II listed buildings if the application for demolition is successful.

Drawn up by award-winning architects, Maber, the sketches show a three storey hotel overlooking the River Don with a 2,260 sq ft hotel bar and restaurant. Another bar / restaurant unit of the same size is shown, as is a 2,750 sq ft fast food outlet and a 1,146 sq ft coffee shop. Completing the plans are two retail units, one of 3,391 sq ft and one of 1,884 sq ft.

Last year, planners recommended that plans for a 80-bed Premier Inn hotel and restaurant at Templeborough be refused, and consider a number of sites, including a site currently used for car parking at New York Stadium, are preferable sites for a hotel in planning terms.

The football club's application states that the "illustrative sketch proposals have been submitted to demonstrate how the site could be developed for a mixed-use scheme comprising retail/leisure/hotel following the building's demolition, with these principally showing broad parameters of layout and scale rather than appearance."

The former iron and brass foundry sits on the edge of the town centre, between the club's £20m New York Stadium and the council's new offices on Main Street, and have been empty since 1999.

The important industrial firm established a manufacturing operation near to Rotherham's Market Place in 1843 with the Chrimes brothers, Peter and Edward, setting up a brass foundry where they invented and produced the high-pressure loose valve screw-down tap.

The firm rapidly expanded into sluice valves, fire hydrants and water meters and John Guest joined the firm in 1847. Following a very large order from Spain, the company moved to the present site in 1857.

The applicants admit that there is some architectural and historic interest in the buildings so in order to secure planning permission they have submitted documents in a bid to show that there is no "appreciable commercial interest in its retention or that there is no evidence of a viable scheme for its reuse."

After backing football club chairman, Tony Stewart, and the previous plans for partial demolition that would have seen the historic frontage retained, the Rotherham Civic Society is opposed to the scheme of full demolition. Peter Hawkridge, secretary of Rotherham Civic Society, said: "Whilst the Society fully support Tony Stewart's ambition to find an economically viable use for the site the Society must register its opposition to the present application as currently drafted, and encourage the Local Planning Authority to negotiate a compromise solution that reflects the heritage of the site and indeed assist RU Estates Ltd in identifying potential developers that specialise in this niche market."

As part of any replacement development some display material is recommended for the site to enable the public to be aware of the tradition.

As the club waits on a decision over the Guest & Chrimes, other plans are being prepared that would generate income from the stadium site on non-matchdays. Planning applications have been submitted that would enable car park areas to host a retail market and car boot sales for up to 35 days a year and a fair for up to seven days a year.

Images: Signet Planning / Maber

1 comments:

Nicki August 21, 2013 at 10:07 PM  

How can anybody consider demolishing a historic building which could be restored to it's original beauty? To build a tacky monstrosity which will be falling down in 20 years. Yes it will cost a lot of money, but it's money well spent. The building will last another 150 years unlike anything built in this day and age. These old buildings are listed for a reason.

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