Friday, January 15, 2010

News: Sheffield could object to Rotherham office development


Members of Sheffield Council's planning board have been recommended to object to Helical Governetz's application for a proposed 60,000 sq m government office campus at Waverley in Rotherham.

Utilising 38 acres of land between the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the Waverley Community development, the campus is expected to provide office space for 2,000 employees.

Helical Bar plc, Governetz Ltd and Haworth Estates (UK Coal) are working together with the intention to provide high specification offices for government departments in response to the desire to move activities out of central London and into the regions.

In report by Les Sturch, Director of Development Services at Sheffield Council, he recommends that members of Sheffield's planning board "object to, and call on Rotherham MBC to refuse planning permission for the Helical Governetz's application for 60,000sq m of business development at Highfield Commercial on the grounds that alternative, more sustainable locations exist in Sheffield/Rotherham that better meet Government guidance for significant "town centre" development such as this."

The report states that proposed schemes in Sheffield such as the plans for the River Don District near Meadowhall, and sites in the city centre can meet the need for relocating government departments and that the public sector should be setting an example and supporting its own policy for major in-centre office development.

The report advocates that as the transport interchange for the Waverley site is only proposed, the offices cannot yet be described as edge-of-centre and that the development should be considered speculative as no specific occupier has signed up.

The report also states that the estimate on the number of jobs that would be created is "generous" and that the economic and employment benefits are contrary to planning policies.

Two sites in Sheffield city centre are offered that could house a hotel and states that the proposed 120 room hotel adjacent to the offices is too big to be considered ancillary. It states that "an over supply of hotels may reduce the viability of existing and proposed hotels in the city centre."

The office campus is alongside the larger Waverley Community, described as South Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield development creating a new 4,000 home community across 741 acres, an area bigger than Sheffield city centre.

UK COAL's property arm, Harworth Estates submitted an outline planning application to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in August 2008 for a sustainable, high density, mixed use community, including 3890 houses, community facilities and green areas.

Both outline planning applications for the proposed office campus and the Waverley development are due to be discussed by the planning board of Rotherham Council on January 25.

Waverley Community website
Sheffield Council report

Images: Helical Governetz


Tom,  January 25, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

Sheffield councillors back 5,000 Rotherham jobs plan

Rotherham Advertiser 22/1/10


A HUGE boost to Rotherham's regeneration ambitions came from an unexpected quarter this week-Sheffield.

Solidarity between the city's Labour councillors and their brothers and sisters in Rotherham saw plans for a massive office campus and hotel on the Waverley site get their blessing on Wednesday.

Advertiser website

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