Thursday, June 7, 2018

News: Council provides Forge Island update


Councillors in Rotherham are being asked to delegate decision-making powers to ensure that a development partner for the Forge island regeneration project can be appointed quickly.

Having secured the land from Tesco, and surrounding land such as the law courts, the authority is anticipating that the site "could accommodate a cinema, hotel, restaurants and bars, town centre parking, as well as high quality business space and modern residential opportunities."

Rothbiz reported last month that three potential bidders had gone through to the next stage and have been invited to submit detailed proposals, with a deadline of June 29. The three bidders have not been made public.

Councillors are being asked to delegate decision-making powers to the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy.

If agreed, the decision would mean that a legal agreement could be drawn up by the Autumn, a planning application submitted, and building work started at the end of 2019 or early 2020.

At the same meeting, councillors will also be asked to agree purchasing the outstanding properties in Riverside Precinct and to progress with flood alleviation work before development work takes place.


Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: "We are committed to our vision for the town centre, to have a much-improved visitor experience with lots more to do and to see, and a town that is welcoming with a family friendly atmosphere.

"In the last several months, the Town Centre Masterplan has been adopted, the Law Court and old Tesco sites have been purchased, the old buildings demolished, and building work is progressing on the new University Centre and bus station.

"Choosing a partner for Forge Island is now a critical next step in this process and we want to make sure we get that right."

A report the Council's cabinet shows that there remain two units within the Riverside Precinct in the Council's ownership, with long leases in place; negotiations for purchasing these are progressing. The authority is hoping to negotiate with leaseholders to obtain vacant possession.

Also reported by Rothbiz last month, Rotherham Council is set to carry out £2.5m - £3m of flood defence work before the redevelopment work on Forge Island can commence.

£17m has been for regeneration projects in the town centre from the council's capital budget and a ten year interest free loan of £1.5m was previously secured from the Sheffield City Region (SCR) in respect of the acquisition of Forge Island.

Forge Island website

Images: WYG / RMBC


Jayne Kendrick,  June 15, 2018 at 8:22 AM  

I hope the plans being considered for the new Forge Island development will include proper facilities for people with disabilities, including fully equipped Changing Places rooms.

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