Thursday, May 11, 2017

News: Green light for £12m Rotherham HE campus plan

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An important regeneration project for Rotherham town centre and the wider area has taken a step forward with planning approval gained for a £12m higher education campus.

Rotherham College, part of RNN Group, is moving fast having secured funding and hopes to open the centre to students in Autumn 2018, offering a new programme of degrees and degree apprenticeships.

The project involves the construction of a 35,500 sq ft campus in Rotherham town centre which is set to be built on the site where the former Victorian hospital at Doncaster Gate was controversially demolished by Rotherham Council.

Drawn up by Bond Bryan Architects with a "distinctive and exciting building," the centre will have an average occupancy of approximately 560 people on a typical term day but will be built with expansion in mind and teaching space for approximately 1,000 students.

The planned centre will have a highly glazed frontage, a reception and waiting area under a full height atrium and also contain café space, a library, shared social and informal study space.

This week, the planning board at Rotherham Council voted nine for, and two against, to approve the plans.

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The main issue was the lack of parking, with only a few spaces proposed in the plans. With 24 new members of staff, the new HE centre will need to link into RCAT's existing town centre campus with its current parking provision of 78 spaces and the two local public surface car parks located nearby on Percy Street and Wharncliffe Street.

Officers and board members are expecting the lack of onsite parking provision to boost the number of students and staff that visit the new campus using sustainable transport.

Nigel Hancock, assistant planning manager at Rotherham Council, said: "The site boundary is quite tight around the proposed building and the only onsite parking provision is three disabled bays to the front.

"The application has been supported by a travel plan which aims to encourage sustainable means of transport. The site itself is in a very sustainable location, clearly well served by public transport modes. Staff parking exists on the main college site and there are already waiting restrictions on the roads around the site which should limit parking. As a result our colleagues in transport did not raise any concerns around the lack of onsite parking."
The whole of the 4.62 acre Doncaster Gate site, which is allocated for community use, is not required for the campus and the institution is purchasing the land from Rotherham Council in a half-price deal. The Rotherham Health Village, including two doctors' surgeries, will remain and further plots will be available for development by the Council. A potential extension of the HE campus is also already under consideration.

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority has agreed to fund infrastructure works which will allow construction to start in June. A grant of £3.5m has been approved with the balance coming from RNN Group.

RNN Group website

Images: RNN Group / Bond Bryan


1 comments:

Anonymous,  May 13, 2017 at 4:59 PM  

An utter disgrace in the demolition of the historic and beautiful Doncaster Gate Hospital! This should not have happened and the question many ask is, where did the stone go? There are building's within the town that have been empty for year's and could have been a better site plus nearer to the college currently within the town.

One was shocked and also horrified when, on remembrance Sunday in the parade the empty gap where an attractive building had disappeared. Rotherham Metropolitan Borough council you should be ashamed of yourselves.

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