Tuesday, July 11, 2017

News: What could replace eyesore buildings?

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As Rotherham Council considers using a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to acquire two burnt out buildings in the town centre, the new masterplan hints at what could replace them.

Rothbiz reported last month that council bosses were reaching the "last resort" having failed to engage with the absentee owners of 3-7 Corporation Street despite numerous attempts.


On the key route through town, the former Envy nightclub building, which suffered a malicious fire in 2007, and Muskaan restaurant, which was closed after a fire in 2011, have been left empty ever since, and whilst not structurally unsafe, the buildings are widely acknowledged to be an eyesore.

The masterplan, developed by Design Company WYG Group and Lambert Smith Hampton, states that the buildings "create a very poor impression of the town and undermine confidence in the town centre.

"The Council is now moving ahead with the acquisition of these sites for redevelopment and this is essential to the future success of this part of the town, which has been blighted by this sense of dereliction over recent years.

"The Council may require compulsory purchase powers and this is deemed appropriate in this instance to overcome the visual blight caused by the state of these buildings."

A housing scheme is being developed and the plan goes on to state that indicative proposals and viability assessments have been prepared for these sites for residential purposes, adding that "the masterplan supports this activity."

2014 outline plans for residential apartments with retail on the ground floor never got past the pre-application stage.

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Cllr. Denise Lelliott, cabinet member for jobs and the local economy at Rotherham Council, said: "In order for a compulsory purchase order to be successful you've got to have a viable, costed plan. Currently our housing colleagues have been working on that and have failed to come up with a viable costed plan but will continue to do that. It is helped by our supplementary planning document and the masterplan that will give us an idea of what we want in that area.

"We will continue to try and contact the owners while we put together a viable plan."

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, added: "It is safe to say that these buildings have been an eyesore for some time and we are thoroughly ready to see them gone. They are a terrible representation of the town for people who arrive on the train."

Once acquired, the Council said it would look to procure a development partner to bring this site forward. A brief, setting out the broad proposal for the site and desired outputs will help to procure a developer partner by the end of 2017. If a purchase of the properties by mutual agreement with the current owners is not concluded then the CPO process will commence in early 2018.

The masterplan also goes further and discusses the "unattractive corner site" on Corporation Street and Upper Millgate next to the burnt out nightclub which has the potential to be a "strong linking development into Forge Island" alongside Minster Gardens and the conservation area.

The plans state: "The adjacent building which occupies the corner plot at Corporation Street / Minster Gardens is also poor visually and outdated. Its modernist architecture is out of place with the character of the space and the sculpture on the corner of the building a symbol of a dated town centre.

"It would be advantageous to redevelop this building alongside the adjacent Corporation Street Sites. It is noted that this corner building includes trading business and these would need to be protected and fully consulted through redevelopment."

Last week, Rothbiz reported on the options for the redevelopment on the other side of Corporation Street which faces the River Don and Forge Island. Here a mixed use development of housing, retail and leisure could incorporate new and current buildings. Alternatively, buildings could be cleared to create a larger riverside park.

Images: WYG / Google Maps


1 comments:

Anonymous,  July 12, 2017 at 10:57 AM  

I hope they keep the white hart. I've always liked that statue.

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