Tuesday, November 3, 2015

News: Temporary uses for nightclub site

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Rotherham recycling experts, Ron Hull has acquired the site of a prominent Rotherham nightclub for future development.

The Liquid & Envy nightclub on the edge of Rotherham town centre closed in 2012 following a decline in trade. The previous operators, Luminar Leisure, went into administration in October 2011 after talks broke down with its banks on the restructuring of the group's debt arrangement. A subsequent £45m deal to save the operation included the purchase of the Main Street venue but it closed in the December of 2012.

The 22,000 sq ft, 2,000 capacity nightclub was put up for sale by Luminar before its administration. The 1.965 acre site also includes 150 car-park spaces and was advertised as an investment and a development opportunity.

Plans were submitted by the demolition arm of the Ron Hull Group last month for the prior notification of proposed demolition.

With the demolition almost complete, further plans have now been submitted that would enable the temporary use of part of the site as a car wash. It is expected that planning permission will also be sought for the use of the rest of the cleared site as a temporary car park. This interim use, for up to two years, is expected to ensure that the site is cleared and safe and "allows the owners to seek redevelopment opportunities for the site."

The latest plans show that Ron Hull Jr Ltd is the owner of the site.

Adjacent to the site, plans for a 245 space car park were only approved on appeal having initially been refused. In addition, CF Booth has recently secured planning permission to operate a 270 space car park for three years on its nearby storage land after the Council was legally unable to ask for a financial contribution to the new £5m road scheme at New York Junction.

Ron Hull has recently been involved with a multimillion pound brownfield regeneration scheme at nearby Parkgate. It teamed up with Leeds-based developers, Gregory Projects to bring forward a retail development on the site of a former car showroom at Great Eastern Way. 50,000 sq ft of retail space is being created with occupiers including Aldi, Iceland and Home Bargains now open.

The council's development plan for the Main Street area indicates that a number of uses are acceptable in principle. In the emerging Local Plan, the large area of land at New York, which includes Riverside House, New York Stadium, the former Guest & Chrimes foundry and the nightclub site, is being put forward for a mix of uses with the area "considered to be suitable for B1 office and hotel uses given its gateway location and proximity to Rotherham town centre and public transport interchanges. It is also considered suitable for assembly and leisure uses given its location, existing uses and proximity to Rotherham town centre."

A Rotherham success story, the Ron Hull Group was formed in 1976 by founder and owner - Ronald Hull - as a six acre site with six employees. Its growing recycling operations means that it now has 30 acres of premises, employing over 200 staff within Ron Hull Jnr Limited and Ron Hull Demolition Ltd.

In 2011, the company bought a vacant 4-acre former warehousing site just a few hundred yards from its Mangham Road base on the Barbot Hall Industrial Estate and invested £4m to create a high-tech reprocessing centre. Diversification has seen the group move into property, running the Fitzwilliam Arms Hotel and a 250-acre farm, housing 40 horses.

For the financial year ending January 31 2014, turnover was reported at £34m, with profit before tax of £1.5m.

Ron Hull Group website

Images: Tom Austen

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