Monday, January 11, 2016

News: Consultants continue to assess Bassingthorpe development

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Consultants are being tasked with assessing the viability of the potential Bassingthorpe Farm development in Rotherham as landowners get closer to bringing it to market in the hope of securing a leading developer.

As part of the Local Plan core strategy that was adopted by the Council in 2014, the 215 hectare area close to Rotherham town centre has been removed from the Green Belt and designated as a Strategic Allocation and the main location for new housing, employment and retail growth. 2,400 dwellings could be joined by 11 hectares for employment use.

Rotherham Council has been leading on the proposals for a number of years, and is working collaboratively with major landowner, Fitzwilliam (Wentworth) Estates, on how to bring forward the project to create "sustainable communities on the edge of Rotherham Urban Area within a green infrastructure that enables connectivity and integration of new development with existing communities." It is also set to provide strong and convenient connections to services and be of "a high quality design that responds sensitively and positively to the historic and natural landscape, the built form and topography."

The Council is currently working towards marketing the Bassingthorpe Farm development jointly with Fitzwilliam (Wentworth) Estates and has now signed up four sets of consultants to look at different aspects of the development.

Having already worked on the project, Signet Planning (now part of engineering consultancy WYG) will manage the production of a masterplan for the site. £16,700 will be used to update technical appraisals and produce a phasing and infrastructure plan including methods of delivery.

DTZ is set to work on a £15,000 package of work to update their initial viability appraisal of the site which concluded that the infrastructure needed to bring forward houses, associated retail and employment uses would cost over £50m.

The cost to develop the whole project was estimated at £365m.

JBA consultants are to provide a detailed drainage strategy for the site and WSP will be commissioned to examine the potential constraints and opportunities in relation to delivery of and requirement for on-site utilities.

WSP are also to be commissioned to carry out historical research, to provide greater detail in relation to ground conditions, primarily the nature and extent of shallow and opencast mining. The cost of this work is £45,000.

The cost of the consultants will be covered by Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Infrastructure Funding for Large sites after Rotherham Council successfully bid for £100k for Bassingthorpe Farm to complete works to enhance its deliverability.

As part of the development of the Council's longer term capital programme (2016-2021), a funding requirement of £385,000 has been identified in respect of costs that will be incurred in bringing the Bassingthorpe Site forward for disposal.

Images: RMBC / Signet Planning

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