Monday, February 19, 2018

News: Funding secured for new homes in Rotherham but borough misses out on big money


Government funding has been secured that will enable Rotherham Council to provide around 120 new homes in the borough, but larger developments being promoted by the Council may have to wait.

In the latest round of One Public Estate (OPE) funding, which is being combined with Land Release Fund (LRF) cash to specifically support housing developments, the Sheffield city region (SCR) is set to receive £530,000 to be used to build a range of affordable homes.

Part of the allocation, £450,000, is set to be used on projects that involve demolishing and replacing two former adult care homes, Rothwell Grange in Broom and Copeland Lodge in Thurcroft, as well as Maltby Central Library (pictured), and creating new types of accommodation.

The authority has recently applied for planning permission to demolish a number of properties including Rothwell Grange, Copeland Lodge, Maltby Central Library and the adjacent former fire station, the former schools at Psalters Centre in Kimberworth and Neighbourhood Offices at St Johns Green in Kimberworth Park.

Earlier this month however, the Government announced successful projects benefiting from the first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund. It did not include any Rotherham projects and just two in the SCR.

Minutes of meetings at Rotherham Council from September 2017 show that two Housing Infrastructure Fund bids were made by the Council to bring forward development. The first at Bassingthorpe Farm for £31m would deliver essential transport and drainage infrastructure and the second in Rotherham town centre for £10.6m would enable flood alleviation and ground preparation to for the delivery of around 400 homes.


The successful projects will include homes for first time buyers, and homes that will allow older people and people with support needs to continue to live independently in vibrant communities.

Work on these projects is expected to start in the coming weeks and will potentially involve using modern technology, including offsite construction, to build the homes faster.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the SCR's Local Enterprise Board, said: "This is a creative way to provide better services and accommodation for older people and those who need support.

"This funding also means that work can start much more quickly than would otherwise have been the case, and I am delighted that we have been able to help support this project.

"Our approach is simple, straightforward and pragmatic. In Sheffield City Region we grab each opportunity and make the most of it."

Cllr. Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Housing at Rotherham Council, added: "The link between housing and good health and wellbeing is undeniable so it's crucial that we are working in partnership to provide homes that are affordable and fit for purpose in thriving neighbourhoods.

"As a council we have committed to provide 14,000 new homes that meet the needs of our residents over the next seven years and this funding will help us deliver on this commitment."


The SCR's Joint Assets Board (JAB) – the first of its kind in the country - won the funding in the latest round of the heavily over-subscribed OPE programme.

The Board includes the nine local authorities of the SCR, central Government departments, the health and care services, police, and rail, and looks at public sector service delivery in the city region from an asset management perspective.

In the previous rounds of OPE funding, cash has been allocated to a range of projects including the Rotherham Town Centre Masterplan which aims to transform Rotherham town centre.

It includes the transformation of Forge Island, the large empty area in the centre of Rotherham, into a major leisure destination including a new cinema, a quality hotel, and food and drink outlets.

It will also provide more than 350 high quality riverside homes, offering buyers spacious, well-designed waterfront living at competitive prices, and open up Rotherham's outdoor market.

SCR website

Images: Google Maps


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