Wednesday, November 15, 2017

News: Flats plan for historic building

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Part of a prominent corner building at the foot of Rotherham town centre's regenerated High Street could be converted into flats under plans submitted to the Council.

38-40 College Street comprises a three storey, self contained building with a Portland Stone fa├žade and was given a guide price of £150,000 - £200,000, by leading firm, Acuitus, when it went up for auction earlier this year. It sold for £245,000.

Now plans have been submitted which would enable the second floor of the property, previously used as a snooker hall, to be converted into five new flats.

It is ten years since the pilot project, called "Living over the Shops (LOTS)" saw the Council work with a social housing provider to create new residential accommodation in the nearby building on Vicarage Lane.

The latest town centre masterplan reinforces the focus on encouraging new housing developments, with town centre living seen as critical to sustaining the long term health of the town centre and being important in achieving around the clock vitality and vibrancy. 2,000 new homes could be created in Rotherham town centre.

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Applicants, a London-based property company called Finematch Ltd, show that, having previously been the home of Central Snooker Club, a club with an 80 year history, the second floor of the 11,000 sq ft building has been empty for two years.

Four two-bedroom flats and one one-bedroom flat make up the plans, with access from High Street and Vicarage Lane. The ground floor is set to remain as retail - currently the larger unit is home to That's Entertainment and the second unit has recently been vacated by Eastwood Domestics.

Though not a listed building, the property is on Rotherham Civic Society's local list which compiles properties of architectural or historic interest. The society states that: "No.2 High Street had been purchased by Montague Burton Ltd in 1926 with a view to expanding its presence in Rotherham. Following discussions with the Rotherham Corporation it became apparent that, due to the highway authority's plans to ease the College Street / High Street corner, Nos. 4 & 6 would need to be acquired in order to provide a site of sufficient size for Burton's new premises.

"In December 1929 the company's proposals for the new store were approved and the old property was demolished. The new building, designed by Harry Wilson, Architect, of Roundhay in Leeds was completed in 1931."

The building was previously home to Peter Lord shoes and was historically the venue for tea dances.

Images: Acuitus

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