Monday, August 7, 2017

News: Hotel and conference centre still proposed for Waverley

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An updated masterplan for the commercial areas of the multimillion pound Waverley development in Rotherham includes a hotel and conference centre alongside the £50m retail-led scheme announced last year.

Approved in 2010, the largest, most complex, planning application ever considered by Rotherham Council gave outline approval for South Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield development, creating a new 3,890 home community across 741 acres.

The masterplan has been updated a number of times since then. In May, land-owners, Harworth Group plc established a joint venture company with Dransfield Properties, the Barnsley-based company that specialises in retail led regeneration schemes, to bring forward the "the piece of the jigsaw" between the residential and commercial developments at the regeneration site on the former Orgreave coking works.

The site, previously known as Highfield Commercial, had outline planning approval for a 645,000 sq ft government office campus and hotel. When the plans were withdrawn following the economic recession, the £20m AMRC Training Centre and the Marston's pub were built instead. At the centre of the site, plans are in for 100,000 sq ft of retail space plus restaurants, coffee shops and a gym; a medical and community facility; and a small bus station.

Now, recently submitted plans for the rest of the site explain that there is "a unique opportunity to bring the disparate uses within the site together and create a focus or "heart" of the new community. It can provide a range of complementary uses that will be to the benefit of both employees and residents."

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The masterplan, drawn up by Barton Willmore, sets out what the developers envisage for the remaining plots. To the North of the AMRC Training Centre, plans show that there is the potential for a 27,000 sq ft hotel (up to five storeys) and a 35,000 sq ft conference centre, plus a large car park.

Housing is proposed for 1.97 hectares of land south of Mitchell Way near to the pub and plans are already in for a development here after Harworth sold the land to Avant Homes. The large central area north of Waverley Walk and the existing houses is also earmarked for residential (4.15 hectares) with 1.82 hectares saved for the first of two schools on the site.

Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) has been appointed as the sponsor by the Regional Schools Commissioner, following the completion of the sponsor selection process for the new Waverley Primary School. It is due to open in 2020.

The plans add that a degree of flexibility will be required in the phasing of development going forward in order to be responsive to changing market conditions. This will take in to account market demand and capacity, costs and viability.

Phase one comprises the mixed use local centre and the residential area to the south of Mitchell Way. Phase two comprises the mixed use development to the north of the Training Centre and the residential area to the north of Waverley Walk. Some plots in Phase 2 are likely to come forward while Phase 1 is being implemented.

The plans also add that Harworth intend to deliver the infrastructure required to support the proposed uses. This is likely to include an access road link connecting Stephenson Way with Highfield Spring, a northern extension of Stephenson Way and a new northern junction, car park facilities including landscaping at the proposed hotel / conference centre, public realm work, a pocket park and a replacement for the temporary play park.

Harworth Group website

Images: Google Maps / Barton Willmore


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