Tuesday, November 13, 2018

News: Gym plan for historic Rotherham 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 a gym as part of plans submitted to the Council.

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

Now plans have been submitted which would enable the first floor of the property, currently "dead space" between the ground floor retail space and second floor snooker hall, to be converted into a gym.

If approved, the vacant ground floor units would be subdivided.

Last year applicants, Finematch Ltd, a London-based property company, secured planning permission to convert the second floor into five apartments.

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The change of use application, drawn up by Melanie Dearing Architects, states: "The ground floor has two shop units (both empty). The first floor is also part of the retail space but it is not used as it is inaccessible and old-fashioned. It is dead space. It has been difficult to rent the units because of the size.

"We wish to split the ground floor up into four smaller, more lettable, units and refurbish them with proper toilets and kitchen facilities. Amazingly, presumably historically, there were four units on the site as we wish to renumber them using the existing numbering - 2 High Street, 4 High Street, 38 College Street and 40 College Street.

"We wish to change the first floor into a large open space for a fitness centre type use. It has four metre high ceilings and is perfect for it."

Shop front alterations to create the new units are also proposed.

Previously Burton's, one ground floor unit was recently used by That's Entertainment and the second unit was vacated by Eastwood Domestics.

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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.

Last week, a planning application was approved that will enable the conversion of the ground floor of the former Speeds department store on the High Street into an internet café / bar.

Images: Acuitus

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