Tuesday, August 23, 2016

News: Housing plan for empty call centre


A Rotherham building designed especially for a call centre operation could finally get tenants after being vacant for ten years.

At the centre of the Dearne Valley Enterprise Zone, Callflex Business Park includes a 35,000 sq ft office and four smaller buildings developed by development and finance company, Cannock Developments in 2002. It is now home to the Department for Work and Pensions, Keepmoat Regeneration, a G4S contact centre and South Yorkshire Police's Training Centre, but one unit, unit 7, has never been occupied.

Building 7 is a modern purpose built office / call centre building comprising 53,665 sq ft of Grade A offices, arranged over three floors. With little prospect of securing a contact centre operation, a planning application has now been submitted to assess if it would be permitted to convert the use from employment to residential use.

Applicants Castan Ltd are proposing that the building be subdivided into 62 separate dwellings.


The plans state: "The unit was constructed to be a 53,000 sq ft call centre but was never occupied due to lack of demand.

"Callflex Business Park sits in the heart of a regenerated area. The location benefits from good transport links and integrated bus and rail networks. The local area provides significant amenities to the workforce with pubs, restaurants and nearby Cortonwood Retail Park.

"Unit 7 has been vacant for ten years and is ideal for subdivision into residential units in an attractive landscape setting. The unit is in the far corner of the site and noise and traffic is minimal in this location."

In 1995 the area was designated a ten year Enterprise Zone, offering employers and investors significant financial incentives to help rejuvenate the area. Since then, more than £200m of private funding has been invested in offices, light industrial and distribution schemes. It is estimated that around 10,000 jobs had been created in the area by 2002.

Images: Knight Frank / Jones Lang LaSalle


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