Tuesday, April 13, 2021

News: Westgate Chambers work continues

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The largest private-led regeneration project currently ongoing in Rotherham town centre is coming into view.

Renovation plans for Westgate Chambers were approved in 2018. A £10m scheme designed by Sheffield-based Self Architects involves the creation of a showcase commercial, retail and residential development that involves renovating the buildings that surround a landscaped internal courtyard, including a superb Georgian Grade II listed building, one of the oldest surviving historic structures in Rotherham town centre.

The buildings, close to the important regeneration site of Forge Island, were bought by the Council in 2006 but the authority's own redevelopment efforts were hit by the economic downturn and a removal of Government funding. Having sold the properties, the current scheme, by Peter Hill of developers HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd, is providing high quality retail, leisure and commercial space at street level with contemporary apartments above.

The development site originally contained six buildings which surrounded an enclosed service yard. Three buildings fronting Main Street, and the fourth listed building, has frontages onto Main Street and Westgate. Two buildings in a dilapidated condition fronting Domine Lane have been demolished.

The renovation part of the development involves the renovation, repair, and reorganisation of four existing buildings with an individual character. The New York View Apartments comprises of 29 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, many benefiting from their own private outside space.

On the first building (previously home to Planet and a taxi rank) new sympathetically designed shopfronts and a new entrance foyer now front Main Street. At the rear, the previously awkward roof geometry has be updated with simple pitched and flat roofs behind a new parapet. The old patchwork of brickwork to the southern elevation has gained a crisp render finish, inset with new windows in a contemporary dark grey.

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Parisian-style attic accommodation in the roof space of the next building (Body-Tec) has created penthouse flats with roof terraces hidden from street level by the existing parapet wall, giving valuable outside space (pictured, below).

Work continues on the "Westgate Centre" building on Main Street where a third floor is being created with the use of dormer windows.

On Domine Lane, work is underway on the new building that will create Westgate City View Apartments. The development "brings high-quality contemporary architecture, which will lift the street scene and continue the recent contemporary development" at the adjacent Old Market building.

Finally, on the corner of Main Street and Westgate stands the remains of a handsome Grade 2 Listed Georgian building, originally a fine residence built-in 1794 by the architect John Platt and occupied by him until his death in 1810.

Self Architects, who have submitted updated plans for the development, said: "We propose to reinstate that handsome Georgian fa├žade by fitting appropriate 9 and 12-panel double glazed timber sash windows to the Main Street and Westgate facades and renew the shopfronts in a style complementary to the building."

New cladding, brickwork and a replacement roof are part of the plans. The red brick stairwell serving the back of the listed building, will be reinvented to form an attractive secure entrance foyer and stairwell. Some internal changes are being proposed.

The plans conclude: "The result of the proposed renovations would reinstate the buildings own identity as a handsome Georgian building, when viewed from Main Street and Westgate, and provide high-quality residential apartments with their own outside space, overlooking the courtyard.

"A new sympathetically designed roof will ensure the structural integrity for many years to come."

Images: Atollie Property Management

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