Friday, December 14, 2018

News: Council concerns over Don Valley development


Rotherham Council is planning to raise an objection with redevelopment plans for an area near Meadowhall in Sheffield with concerns over the impact on the proposed Forge Island scheme in Rotherham town centre.

British Land has updated its plans for the River Don District (RDD) on three underused adjoining plots of land in Sheffield's Lower Don Valley, to the south of Meadowhall.

The 17.07 ha site was previously identified for an office-led, mixed-use scheme, but following the success of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and the Sheffield Business Park in Sheffield, new elements linked to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) are being put forward.

The AMID vision is based on a 2,000-acre centre of excellence for innovation-led research and industrial collaboration, where industry and academia are co-located in a new form of business park.

The new RDD application includes manufacturing and research units for major occupiers and premises for growing and new start-up companies.

In addition, the application includes hotel floorspace as well as supporting retail, food and beverage, and leisure uses. It is these elements that are causing concerns for Rotherham Council, who have secured the land and have a preferred development partner for a leisure-led regeneration scheme on Forge Island.

A response from Rotherham Council to the planning application for the River Don District, reads: "Further assessment should be carried out as part of the Sequential and Impact Tests to discount and assess the impact of the development on Forge Island in terms of the proposed retail and leisure uses.

"If this assessment is not carried out RMBC wish to formally object on the grounds that insufficient information exists to fully assess the impact of development on Forge Island."


Sequential tests ensure that development is located in the most sustainable location first (usually in town centres), before other, less sustainable locations are chosen.

The planning documents state that during pre-application discussions it was suggested that Forge Island, Rotherham should be assessed as a sequential alternative but it was not.

Quad Consultants are working on the scheme and said: "It is important to note that this site [Forge Island] is located outside the agreed catchment for the retail element of scheme, and at the very edge (largely outside) of the catchment for the proposed leisure uses.

"In this context, we do not believe that it is appropriate to consider this site as a sequential alternative location to accommodate the proposed development. Locating the proposal at the Forge Island site would serve an entirely different catchment to that intended to be served by the application proposal."

The planning consultants have questioned the need to apply the sequential test. They expect that any retail and food and beverage uses in the scheme would be locally focused, and service the future employees on the site, which could be up to 4,800.

On impact, the plans add: "In terms of any impact on future investment in Rotherham, again this will not be significant adverse. Rotherham, is located well beyond the agreed catchment for the retail element of the proposal and at the periphery (and just beyond) the wider catchment agreed for the leisure element.

"Consequently, the delivery of localised facilities to meet the needs of employees on the site, as well as to serve the immediate catchment, there will be no impact on Rotherham."

Rotherham Council objected to plans for a 330,000 sq ft Leisure Hall development at Meadowhall, stating that it would have a "significant adverse impact upon the vitality and viability of Rotherham town centre." Sheffield City Council's planning board approved the plans last year.

River Don District website

Images: British Land


Anonymous,  December 14, 2018 at 1:33 PM  

Just another council trying to stifle development....

Anonymous,  December 14, 2018 at 2:58 PM  

Bout time Rotherham council took the gloves off regards to dealing with Sheffield,for far far too long Rotherham has stood by and allowed Sheffield to do as it likes,many decisions leading to the demise of Rotherham town centre,and there constant claiming of things actually in Rotherham as Sheffield's needs stopping.TIME TO STAND UP TO THE BLOATED EGO OF SHEFFIELD,ACTUALLY A JOKE OF AN.ATTEMPT OF A CITY !

M Benson,  December 14, 2018 at 5:55 PM  

Looks as though in the same way that Sheffield Council apparently colluded in trying to stop retail and cinema development at Catcliffe and then wanted HS2 in central Sheffield (to the exclusion of the rest of S. Yorks.) they are happy again to be in the position of effectively saying "Sod Rotherham"!

Rod December 17, 2018 at 1:15 PM  

When Sheffield objects to something in Rotherham it is noted and has an effect but when Rotherham objects to something in Sheffield it is blatantly ignored.... this has been going on for years... and it’s about time it was STOPPED, by a higher authority if necessary. Is there a planning ‘Ombudsman’?

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