Friday, December 18, 2015

News: Waverley local centre plans taking shape


Further offices, a hotel, conference centre, gym, retail units and community facilities could compliment the growing Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and Waverley development in Rotherham, but a proposed park & ride facility is no longer in the plans.

Approved in 2010, the largest, most complex, planning application ever considered by Rotherham Council gave outline approval for South Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield development, creating a new 3,890 home community across 741 acres.

The masterplan for the £100m regeneration scheme has been updated a number of times by the developers, Harworth Group. The company created to realise the property assets of what was UK Coal, applied to vary a number of conditions of a follow up application, approved in 2013, to allow development to continue on the site.

As housebuilding progresses at pace, a proposed local centre is set to be relocated from a location north of the current residential developments to sit between the AMP and residential areas - land previously known as Highfield Commercial where the AMRC Training Centre is located.

A transport assessment submitted as part of latest updated plans indicates that forthcoming detailed plans for the local centre could include a 16,000 sq ft food retail store, 8,600 sq ft of further retail, 52,000 sq ft of offices, a café / restaurant, medical centre, nursery, community hall and a number of apartments and town houses.

To the north of the proposed local centre, 130,000 sq ft of office space could be created alongside a 43,000 sq ft hotel with a 1,500 seat conference centre adjacent to the local centre in addition to a 11,000 sq ft gym.

Also in the assessment is a potential 32,000 sq ft "retirement village" north of Waverley Walk.
Since outline plans were approved, SYPTE has agreed that the park and ride facility is no longer appropriate at Waverley given that the Southern route of the Sheffield and Rotherham Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme is not being funded and has been scrapped. The Southern route aimed to run from Sheffield city centre, along the Parkway to Waverley and onto Rotherham Interchange.

As part of the conditions, in the event the proposed Park and Ride facility was unsuccessful, the applicant was required to improve the existing public transport provision which consisted of a financial contribution of £1.5m payable at various intervals during the development build out.

Planning approval was gained this month to vary the agreement with the council so that an obligation for a park and ride facility is taken out.

A large proportion of the land reserved for the park and ride facility is undevelopable, due to its location on the former open cast high wall and is set to form part of the park. Some of the land could come forward for development.

In correspondence with the planning authority, the SYPTE said: "There will still be an Interchange in a suitable location on the site, with the remaining money set aside for future public transport infrastructure improvements, potentially for use as part of the wider transport issues within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District."

An initial transport hub is set to be created on Highfield Spring close to the AMRC Training Centre and AMP Technology Centre that is currently being extended. A second hub is most likely be located between the local centre and the proposed school, connecting through to Highfield Lane. As more development comes forward the remainder of the money could be used to provide further bus services that enter the residential site.

In an update on trading for its financial year ending December 31 2015, Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth Group, said: "The group had a strong first half of the year as highlighted at the time of our interim results in August. The positive momentum has continued into the fourth quarter, which has normally shown a strong result for the property business, and is now expected to exceed our expectations on the back of sales and planning approvals which in turn will improve the valuation of our portfolio."

Waverley website

Images: Barton Wilmore / Harworth


Anonymous,  December 18, 2015 at 1:31 PM  

Says nothing. "Could" all the way through. Read with caution.

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