Tuesday, April 21, 2015

News: Bus station refurb out to tender

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Plans for a multimillion pound revamp of the interchange car park in Rotherham town centre are progressing with construction firms invited to tender for the £4m to £5m project.

Investigations had shown that the car park on the site of the bus station requires £4m worth of repairs. Plans have been approved for the detailed design of the renovation and re-cladding of the four-storey car park where highly durable anodised mesh panels will be used to replace the poorly implemented current cladding, with the junctions and recesses in the structure used to break the building into an appearance of three blocks.

Planners at Rotherham Council said that the current building is utilitarian in appearance and looks run-down, and that it does not contribute visually to the town centre. They expect the proposed cladding, in three tones of brown and gold, to greatly improve the overall appearance of the building in the day time and at night.

As part of the plans, the internal areas, which in some places are now in a poor state of repair, would be totally revamped.

Opened in 1971, the car park, which sits between Frederick Street and the River Don, has since developed widespread defects and the existing tight spaces and drab appearance mean that occupancy levels only average approximately one third of its 678 capacity.

In the recent Borough Wide Lifestyle Survey, only 10% of the 4,123 pupils surveyed said they usually feel safe in Rotherham town centre. 9% said they feel safe at the bus station and 7% at the train station. Last year this was phrased "waiting for local transport" where just 14% said that they felt safe.

The approved plans were only meant to a fall back option if other development opportunities did not progress. Discussions had been ongoing with the landlord with a view to developing the interchange site. The SYPTE, Rotherham Council and the owners, Norseman Holdings, met to discuss potential alternative development options for the site and Norseman committed to review the options of a leisure facility at the site and report back on options.

The long term plan and required funding for car park repairs was being investigated by officers but with the refurbishment option reaching the tender stage, a larger scale redevelopment looks unlikely.

SYPTE website

Images: Aedas

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