Tuesday, January 30, 2018

News: Swinden House redevelopment plans submitted

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Plans to build 100 new houses on the site of the Swinden Technology Centre (STC) in Rotherham have been submitted on behalf of Tata Steel.

The steelmaker has vacated the research and development site and the laboratories are being demolished. Tata considers that it is no longer a suitable home for the R&D arm and announced in 2014 that it is relocating research to Warwick University.

Property consultants Harris Lamb have been working on a masterplan for the 6.6 hectare Moorgate site and proposals went on show last year. The plans involve 101 new dwellings, keeping the Grade II-listed Swinden House and other historic buildings and converting them into 26 flats.

The planning application submitted this week is for full consent for the conversion of the retained buildings and outline consent to develop the remaining site including access.

The application states that "the scheme proposes to retain Swinden House, Sitwell House, the workshops and the former gatehouse. These will be refurbished and converted to residential use. The remaining laboratory buildings will be demolished to make way for the redevelopment of the site as housing."

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The scheme, which has estimated development costs of over £30m, is set to create "a new build residential development focused on the location of the laboratory buildings, open spaces, car park and single area of open space" in order "to create a comprehensive residential scheme that marries the old and new.

"The site's main features; the heritage assets, tree belts and central open space will all be retained and managed, making them a centerpiece to the scheme."

A financial assessment submitted with the application explains that the high quality location, and the private "parkland" nature of the former Swinden Technology Centre, will generate an above average residential value compared with the general Rotherham area. It adds that the proposed specification of the residential development is likely to be the "higher end" new-build standard.

A range of dwelling sizes are included in the proposals, from one bedroom apartments to five bedroom houses. The types of dwelling range from apartments within the conversions to terraced, semi detached and detached houses. Anticipated sales values for the open market units sit between £168,432 and £532,400.

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In terms of access, one-way access will come from the existing entrance on Moorgate Road, where the existing lodge will be retained. A new two-way access route from Beaconsfield Road is set to be created.

Rotherham Council adopted its Community Infrastructure Levy last year and developers behind new housing in the Moorgate area set to pay £55 per sq m. However, the planning consultants are discounting the levy as the site has been in its lawful use as an employment site.

The applicants are also hoping to provide no affordable housing as they consider that including 25% affordable housing would make the scheme unviable.

United Steels acquired the site in 1946 and in addition to research laboratories, it also includes Swinden House, the former home of Rotherham solicitor Thomas Badger, plus playing fields, tennis courts and orchards. The Grade II listed building, previously known as "Red House" was completed in around 1880. The stable block, walled garden and the lodge are also protected.

The site also includes Sitwell House, a late nineteenth century house that is not a listed building.

The facilities at STC were claimed to be, by the 1960s, one of the largest research organisations devoted to metallurgy in Europe.

It is understood that the Indian-owned steelmaker will sell the site if and when planning permission for the residential development is secured.

Images: Tata Steel / Harris Lamb

1 comments:

Dennis,  January 30, 2018 at 2:20 PM  

One hopes that the Council make it clear that they have to pay the Infrastructure Levy and at last make the Affordable Housing payment, even if they don't want to provide it on that site.
They will be making enough profit from the nice (expensive) detached houses on site anyway. Don't let them argue their way out of their financial responsibilities.

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