Friday, September 12, 2014

News: Council sees little progress on Visions of China


Rotherham Council is looking again at how to bring forward development on the Pithouse West site after admitting that it is unsatisfied with the current preferred developers that it selected in 2011.

The council has long had ambitions for the greenbelt site to be transformed into a landmark leisure / tourism development on a national and international scale.

In August 2011 the council confirmed leisure organisation China Vision Ltd and regeneration specialist MCD Developments as the preferred developers for the site, located to the north of Rother Valley Country Park (pictured).

Visions of China plans to be a £118m, 120 acre cultural theme park set in an authentically built and landscaped Chinese environment combining a range of experiences and activities for visitors.

In November 2012, council officers sought an urgent agreement from councillors to complete the sale agreements and head leases for 180 and 153 acres of former opencast land, which is classed as greenbelt.

The cabinet at Rotherham Council recently received a report which set out details on negotiations for the disposal of land at Pithouse West following the previous decisions in 2012. The report, which was exempt and discussed in private as it contains commercially sensitive information, gave further information on the previous agreement and its terms of sale, milestone events, update on the current scheme and the reason for consideration of the termination of the development agreement.

Cllr. Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration explained at the full council meeting this week that the cabinet decision allows the council to enter into discussions with any other partners about taking the development of the site forward.

Cllr. Beck, said: "Some years ago we endorsed the Visions of China proposal for the site at Pithouse West, which is a strategic development site and has been for some years.

"The recent decision at cabinet now allows us to enter into discussions with any other parties who are interested in developing that site. It opens things up a little bit because we haven't been able to satisfy ourselves by the Visions of China project that they are making sufficient progress.

"No offers have come forward yet but we have previous parties who were around before Visions of China was on the table."

This is the second time the council has encountered a lack of progress by its chosen developers. The site of the proposed £350m YES! Project was put up for sale by the Council after original developers, Oak Holdings made a material lack of progress since entering a preferred developer agreement in 2003.

Images: RMBC


B Keywood,  March 17, 2015 at 2:22 PM  

This site simply shouldn't be developed at all. It is home to rare red list protected birds such as bittern and cetti's warbler

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