Friday, April 21, 2017

News: Tata prepare housing plans for Swinden House site


Plans will go on show next week for a housing development at the Swinden Technology Centre (STC) site in Rotherham, soon to be vacated by Tata Steel.

The STC mainly focuses on product research and applications research for the transport, building and construction sectors but Tata considers that it is no longer a suitable home for the R&D arm and announced in 2014 that it is relocating research to Warwick University.

With Tata Steel's intention to leave the site, pre-application discussions with the Council have been taking place as the authority works on finalising its local plan - Rotherham's planning blueprint for the next 15 years.

Following an examination of the plan, the planning inspector agrees with the owner that the 6.65 hectare site on Moorgate should change from employment use to residential use. Rotherham Council had not initially included the site for residential use having not been consulted.

With change of use close to being signed off, Harris Lamb, the planning agents working on behalf of Tata Steel, are ready to unveil the latest plans at a public consultation event to be held at the Carlton Park Hotel on the afternoon of April 26.


United Steels acquired the site in 1946 and in addition to research laboratories, it also includes Swinden House, the former home of Rotherham solicitor Thomas Badger, plus playing fields, tennis courts and orchards. The Grade II listed building, previously known as "Red House" was completed in around 1880. The site also includes Sitwell House, a late nineteenth century house that is not a listed building.

The facilities at STC were claimed to be, by the 1960s, one of the largest research organisations devoted to metallurgy in Europe but in 2014 Tata Steel considered them to be "no longer a suitable home to the research and development arm of Britain's second largest steel manufacturer."

Historic England have been consulted as part of the Council's consideration of this site and have raised no objection to the redevelopment of this site subject to the proposal complying with the guidelines identified in the proposed policy wording.

The site has the capacity for 219 dwellings. Outline planning permission was secured in 2004 for residential development and the conversion of Swinden House with plans showing around 100 houses on land off Beaconsfield Road and around the Victorian building - around a half of the site. Earlier plans included demolishing the lab buildings and building 190 dwellings and converting Swinden House and the stable building into flats.

Similarly, the latest plans are set to include demolishing the laboratory buildings and the conversion of the listed buildings.

Representations from Harris Lamb, state: "We can confirm that Tata Steel actively supports the proposed residential allocation of Swinden Technology Centre and that they remain committed to bringing this site forward in the short term. We remain of the view that the site is available, a suitable location and achievable."

Development could start within the next couple of years.

Indian-owned Tata Steel is close to concluding the sale of its Speciality Steels business for a total consideration of £100m. This includes the sites at Aldwarke, Brinsworth and Stocksbridge, but not STC.

As part of the task force set up when Tata announced a restructure and redundancies in South Yorkshire, talks were ongoing to relocate some of the R&D staff to the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) across the borough.

Tata Steel website

Images: NAMTEC


Tom,  April 26, 2017 at 5:28 PM  

The outline plans at the consultation event showed around 120 dwellings including apartments set to be created in the retained and converted Swinden House and Sitwell House.

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