Friday, December 7, 2018

News: Developer sought for Swinton scheme

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Rotherham Council is preparing to appoint developers to undertake a multimillion pound redevelopment scheme to transform an area at the heart of Swinton.

The cabinet and commissioners at Rotherham Council signed off on a Development Brief for Swinton Town Centre in 2017 and a tender exercise was used to help secure interest from developers to work on the scheme.

The Council's Cabinet is now being asked to agree plans to seek a development partner for the project. If approved, the partner will produce a masterplan and subsequently redevelop the site.

The site totals nearly seven acres and includes the cleared disused council offices at Queen Street that suffered a fire back in 2015 and the former Swimming Pool and Squash Court in Charnwood Street that were demolished in 2016 having suffered an arson attack.

The site of the former Charnwood House care home, which was earmarked for demolition, is also included and the authority secured cabinet and commissioner approval to acquire an adjacent site.

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A cabinet paper, states: "Over the last few years various services have been relocated and buildings demolished leaving a cleared site which is in need of redevelopment. There remains a strong community with well-used but tired facilities. To bring about regeneration and improve the Town Centre new housing and a community focused redevelopment is proposed."

Eight responses were received through the earlier exercise, demonstrating a healthy appetite for the scheme. A competitive procurement process is set to lead to the developers producing a masterplan, together with a financial appraisal and commentary which details their capability and capacity to deliver, and the rationale behind the masterplan.

The vacant site could support a minimum of 70 housing units and the public realm is set to be improved. However, the Council wants to retain ownership of the retail parade.

The development brief will also encourage bidders to rationalise the community facilities (library, civic hall, community hub) into one building, either by providing a new building or through the refurbishment of an existing building.

Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: "If Cabinet approves the proposals, we can look forward to moving towards an exciting development that will not only create jobs, but will also create lasting benefit in terms of new homes and community facilities."

If approved, the latest tender process will begin in January 2019 and complete in May 2019.

Images: Google Maps

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