Friday, May 20, 2016

News: Rotherham Civic Society disappointed with "cut and paste" masterplan


Rotherham Civic Society has expressed its profound disappointment at the quality of an updated masterplan for Rotherham town centre.

Rothbiz reported first on the town centre masterplan in March which identified eight "key moves" to continue the regeneration of the award-winning town centre.

The first key move is the development of a leisure hub on Forge Island, others focus on further residential development, supporting "Making and Trading," redeveloping the bus station, improving gateways and pedestrian movement, opening up the riverside for development and creating a connected "Green Network."

As part of the consultation on the plans, which are set to become a Supplementary Planning Document, the civic society has cast a critical eye over the work of ARUP, the external planning consultants brought in by Rotherham Council

Rotherham Civic Society stands for protecting and preserving all that is best in the heritage of the town and district. It backs proposals for Forge Island and wants to see the potential redevelopment of the Guest & Chrimes building happen quickly. The success of the heritage-led regeneration of the High Street is hailed but there is no mention in the plan for similar new schemes. The borough was knocked back in a bid to secure further Lottery funding earlier this year.

The society goes on to call for the inclusion of more work on car parking provision and the development of cultural and community facilities and accuses the consultants of "padding out the report" with sections that are seemingly cases of "cut and paste." The society also picks out statements of "total nonsense," and that lack "any credibility whatsoever," asking "what parallel universe is the consultant living?"


Peter Hawkridge, secretary of the Rotherham Civic Society, said: "The Society's overriding feeling is one of profound disappointment. Not in terms of aspirations. Quite understandably these have been scaled down in part due to national financial circumstances. Rather it is the quality of the narrative presented by the consultants which leave the reader with the impression that this has largely been a desk based study involving the most fleeting of visits to the town centre.

"In the Society's view there is only one purpose in employing an external consultant and that is to bring to the table expertise, knowledge and innovative thinking not already available within RMBC's Planning Service. This report however reads almost like a series of standard planning clich├ęs, green corridors/riverside/town centre living etc containing warm words that the client likes to hear and skating over the significant difficulties the town centre faces.

"The consultants themselves seem uncertain about the town centre's future. The national image of Rotherham has undoubtedly been damaged significantly in recent years but that is no reason why future plans for the town centre should be so inward looking.

"This report provides insufficient detail to support investment decisions by the private sector and in some ways by speculating in general terms on the future of the market and Corporation Street is more likely to adversely affect the investment decisions of local firms and traders."

Once finalised, the document will provide additional guidance to a number of Local Plan policies which can be taken into account when determining planning applications.

Following the consultation, the Council will publish a statement which summarises the main issues raised during the consultation period, the Council's response to these issues, and details of the changes to the Supplementary Planning Document as a result.

A report will then be taken to councillors regarding adoption of the Supplementary Planning document to support Rotherham's Local Plan.

Rotherham Civic Society website

Images: RMBC / ARUP


Mr me May 20, 2016 at 10:53 AM  

This is why the town stands still and gets nothing,always these idiots finding problems!

Anonymous,  May 23, 2016 at 12:16 AM  

You must admit they have a point. Rotherham council have been destroying Rotherham on a colossus scale for decades. It continues today with no letup in the lack of respect for the history and existing architecture still standing.the comical road schemes and endless lack of vision. More postmodern ugly uninspiring here today gone tomorrow communist Russia look a like retail and flat complexes.long live the dream. what dream I say?

Unknown June 15, 2016 at 12:38 PM  

Build a new interchange on site of old Tesco with a footbridge over canal to train/supertram station. Demolish present bus station and build a shopping centre similar to Alhambra at Barnsley. Need something to attract people away fro Parkgate shopping and back into town centre.

Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP