Thursday, January 12, 2012

News: New Rotherham town centre Tesco plans submitted


Plans for a new Tesco Extra in Rotherham town centre have been submitted to Rotherham Council.

The 10,000 sq m development on the site of council buildings at Walker Place will replace the current outdated store on Forge Island.

Anglo-Dutch developer, TCN is purchasing the council's 22,000 sq m Civic Site for £7m with Rotherham Council staff relocating to new offices, Riverside House on Main Street, in 2012.

The plans put together by consultants, DPP and drawn up by architects, Smith Smalley, include a Tesco Extra store with a total sales area of 6,273 sq m on the site of the Civic Building, Central Library and Norfolk House, plus a petrol filling station on the site of Crinoline House.

The development would create 450 jobs (200 full time and 250 part time). 200 of these are additional to the current store and all staff at the current store would be guaranteed a job at the new site.

The proposed store will provide 1,301 sq m more convenience sales floorspace than the current store. There will be a total of 2,411 sq m comparison goods sales floorspace, which will be 2,061 sq m more than provided by the existing Tesco store. The plans state that the additional floorspace will allow a greater range of products such as clothing, books, CDs and household electrical goods to be sold from the proposed store.

The site will also act as a distribution outlet for internet shoppers at with seven delivery vehicle spaces.

As part of the development, a multi-million pound investment would be made in the road network, including removing the Centenary Way flyover.

Plans show a brand new junction between Drummond Street and Centenary Way, replacing the flyover with a signalised junction and a pedestrian crossing, enabling motorists to turn left or right onto the ring road.

Access to the Tesco store would be from both Drummond Street and Nottingham Street with the Grade II listed clock, which sits at the current civic centre complex, would be moved to Effingham Square.

To address council concerns regarding linking the store to the rest of the town, the updated plans include re-orientating the store so that it now fronts onto Drummond Street rather than Centenary Way. The creation of a shared surface on Drummond Street is proposed to improve the pedestrian link, and the existing signalised pedestrian crossing from the site into Effingham Square is to be retained. New public realm areas are also included.

The design is typical of a new build Tesco store with the "corner feature used to create a striking landmark element to the building emphasising the proposed mezzanine level café."

It will also be an "Eco-Store" which incorporates Tesco's new, low carbon design and aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the store. It is set to include a CHP (combined heat and power) unit and sub-station on the site.

There will be a total of 544 parking spaces and the car park will provide free parking for two hours on the site for customers of the food store. The duration will allow and encourage Tesco customers to undertake a linked trip with the town centre as part of their visit.

The applicants assume that the store will not be open and trading until 2013, because vacant possession of the site will not be possible until Spring 2012 and it will take around one year to build the proposed scheme.

The retail giant announced today that like for like sales in the six weeks to January 7 in the UK were down 2.3 per cent compared to the festive period last year. The disappointing figures led to an outlook of "trading profit growth to be around the low end of the current consensus range."

TCN website

Images: TCN / Smith Smalley


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