Thursday, July 9, 2020

News: Meadowhall scales back Leisure Hall proposals

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Stalled plans for a new £300m, 330,000 sq ft Leisure Hall development at Meadowhall have been scaled back.

The initial plans for a multi-level extension housed under a glazed roof on land currently used for car parking were approved in 2018 despite an objection from Rotherham Council, that stated that it would have a "significant adverse impact upon the vitality and viability of Rotherham town centre."

Plans showed leisure space to provide a range of other uses to meet the needs of a wide family group, including a new cinema (the existing Vue Cinema would close, and be changed to an alternative leisure use) plus space for food and drink outlets. Some retail space was proposed as a transition between the new and existing sections of the centre.

Now a phased approach is being outlined which includes a number of elements:

- Revised Leisure Hall - £150m development on existing car park to include quality leisure space and include a new aspirational food and drink offer. Smaller than the original hall, it would also see the existing Vue cinema retained, to be expanded and modernised;
- "Big Box" retail on land near to the Next Home store;
- Interim Leisure Park - warehouses and land between Meadowhall and Vulcan Road to be converted to create temporary indoor and outdoor leisure space

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A spokesperson for British Land, said: "In 2018, British Land secured planning approval for a new Leisure Hall, to further diversify Meadowhall's offer beyond pure retail. Since that time, the leisure and retail sectors have undergone an unprecedented evolution.

"As British Land continues to look ahead, we have reappraised and revised our original Leisure Hall scheme, and we now intend to submit a new outline planning application this summer to change how we deliver our consented masterplan.

"Getting the right mix of leisure remains a key focus of our plans to ensure that Meadowhall continues to compete with other leading shopping centres into the future and continues to attract visitors from outside the region.

"In contrast to our original plans, however, the new application is designed to facilitate a phased approach to delivery, allowing individual elements of our planned new leisure, retail and food and beverage offer to be refined and adapted to suit market demands as the project progresses.

On the original proposals, Rotherham planners were also concerned for its own proposed leisure development at Forge Island which is set to be anchored by a cinema and hotel alongside food and beverage units. British Land argued that investor confidence in the Forge Island plans is not likely to be undermined by the new leisure hall given that a cinema already exists at Meadowhall and a hotel is proposed for Rotherham, and that the food offer would be different.

Planners at Sheffield Council were in agreement with British Land and also agreed that the proposal will "undoubtedly have a negative impact on Rotherham's town centre which is already in a fragile state."

British Land's updated plans for the River Don District (RDD) are yet to be discussed by the planning board at Sheffield Council. Rotherham Council was planning to raise an objection her too with concerns over the impact on the proposed Forge Island scheme.

Meadowhall website

Images: British Land

1 comments:

Anonymous,  July 10, 2020 at 6:24 AM  

Meadowhall might not be a shopping centre in 15 years it could be an HM prison if you believe the urban myths complete with the body bags. The owners of the Trafford centre are in administration. a search on Youtube will show you the Great Malls of America that are closed in everything we are not that far behind the USA

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