Thursday, May 17, 2012

News: English Heritage oppose Guest & Chrimes demolition plans


Plans by Rotherham United to demolish the rear of the former Guest & Chrimes foundry, in a bid to protect the building's historic frontage, are being opposed by English Heritage.

The £20m New York Stadium is heading towards completion on the site close to Rotherham town centre. The remaining Grade II listed buildings of the former iron and brass foundry sit between the stadium and the council's new offices on Main Street.

RU Estates Ltd has the overall aim to refurbish and restore the main frontage buildings after it was advised that it would take an investment of £8.8m just to bring the current property up to a marketable condition.

A planning application was submitted in March.

English Heritage works to protect and promote England's historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. In response to the plans, they have asked that they be withdrawn and a new development be designed that would include the retention of all, or a substantial part of the Guest & Chrimes complex.

English Heritage doesn't accept that the significance of the foundry has been fully set out. The applicants believe that the significance of the building lies solely in its architecture and heritage consultants working for the football club concluded that the remaining buildings are of significant local interest but moderate regional, and low national interest. The interest having been eroded by more modern alterations to the buildings and recent damage.

However, "English Heritage considers that over and above its architectural significance, the Guest & Chrimes complex also has archaeological / evidential significance and historic significance."

English Heritage requires further assessment of the significance before they can assess the impact of the demolition. Their worry is that partial demolition would lead to de-listing, and further harm to the remaining buildings.

Regarding the re-use of the building, English Heritage doesn't believe that the building is incapable of conversion and is concerned about the setting harming the listed building with the regeneration of the site led by New York Stadium and Riverside House.

Craig Broadwith, historic buildings and areas advisor at English Heritage, said: "The harm ... must be considered against the clear substantial public benefit accrued through the construction of the new stadium and offices; these interventions can be the catalyst for the further regeneration of the New York area of Rotherham. However, this should not be at the cost of the further harm to the Guest & Chrimes complex, through its partial demolition, particularly as it has not directly benefited from the construction of the stadium or offices.

"English Heritage continues to believe that further options may be available, in the new context created by the Rotherham United football stadium and the occupation of Riverside House by the local authority."

They have asked for a full planning application based on the conservation and a sustainable re-use of most of the significant components of the Guest & Chrimes complex.

Planning application

Images: Rotherham United / Signet Planning


Anonymous,  May 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM  

What a surprise. They would have us all living in dilapidated slums in the name of 'heritage' if they had their own way.

What use is it left to crumble and deteriorate as it is now. Better to save some of it than none of it surely?

Anonymous,  May 17, 2012 at 10:54 AM  

Hertitage means leaving crumbling slums in the towns and cities while the people who make these decisions live in affluent areas with no eye sores!

Chris,  May 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM  

Let's just leave the decaying empty building for another 20 years shall we!? Good thinking English Heritage, another cracking piece of work

Tom,  May 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM  

In response to the article, English Heritage stated that: "We're still working with all parties to consider every option for the project – no decisions have been made yet."


Keith May 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM  

Apart from the people at English Heritage exactly how many people are remotely interested in the building - I reckon you could probably count them on one hand. If RUFC's plans are denied who else is going to bankroll their redevelopment? I hope RMBC approve the plans and let the building be developed instead of being left to turn into a crumbling eyesore.

Keith Roden - born. bred & resident in Rotherham.

Anonymous,  December 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM  

Better to have something historic and unique to Rotherham than something bland like everywhere else on another souless roundabout.
Wonder what the result was?

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