Tuesday, December 15, 2020

News: Plans in for Primark pocket park


A planning application has been submitted as Rotherham Council moves quickly to create a temporary park on the site of the vacanct former Primark store in the town centre.

Having announced the acquistion of the property using Government funding last month, the authority has worked with agents, WYG, to submit proposals that cover the demolition of the High Street buildings and the creation of a park.

The long term ambition for the site is as residential use but this application enables a park to be in place for five years, allowing for housing plans to be drawn up and for funding to be found.

The area was previously the site of a Mosanic Hall and the site was developed as a picture house and restaurant in 1934 (the Whitehall Theatre originally openend on the site in January 1924). This was demolished and replaced by the current retail building in 1965. Built for BHS, the site was occupied most recently by Primark who relocated to Parkgate in 2017. The site has remained vacant ever since.

Only 0.08 hectares of the 0.24 hectares site are propsed to be used as the park. The remaining area away from the High Street is set to remain closed and unused.

Proposals include astrotrufed terraces, seating and trees, as well as branding features.

Also included in the plans are three "pods" on the site which would be occupied by food and beverage vendors.

The application explains: "The public space is proposed to be a mixture of hard and soft landscaping which will include seating areas, picnic benches and public art installations. These art installations are intended to play a multi-purpose role, including providing an opportunity for children to play freely on and acting as a branding for the site to create a sense of place.

"Due to the site’s topography, the public space will have a stepped profile with details included on the submitted application drawings. Also due to the topography, a staircase is proposed to be included to provide a direct connection between the site and Snail Hill to the west.

"Red scaffolding with black mesh is proposed to encase the site along the eastern and western borders, along the adjacent building facades, and along the southern border to create a sense of enclosure."

The site is located within the Rotherham Conservation Area and the applicants conclude that the building which is proposed to be demolished has been found to have limited architectural and historic merit, and that the demolition would improve the setting of the Conservation Area and nearby heritage assets.

£1m grant funding was secured from government as part of the Towns Fund accelerator programme for the project.

Images: RMBC / WYG / Google Maps


Anonymous,  December 15, 2020 at 4:18 PM  

Another town centre haven for street drinkers and druggies.

Anonymous,  December 15, 2020 at 4:22 PM  

Waste of money, get apartments built. Town dosnt need any more town centre parks, Clifton Park is only up road,RMBC havent got a clue how to run this town!

Anonymous,  December 16, 2020 at 9:14 AM  

Agree we have minster gardens a minutes walk away, seldom see anyone in there!

Ziggy,  December 16, 2020 at 9:46 AM  

What a waste of taxpayer money. £1M to buy time to draw up housing plans, yet its surrounded by Clifton Park, the Minster Grounds and the adjacent Minster Gardens! More concessions when the small shops on the High Street/Imperial can't be filled. It just shows why public sector staff wouldn't last in private sector work.

Anonymous,  December 16, 2020 at 6:45 PM  

There are too many negative comments on this website. People moan at the lack of investment, then moan when investments do happen that they are not relevant. Any investment and development should be welcomed in the current climate. A new park is much better than a boarded up building.

Mr me December 18, 2020 at 1:02 AM  

Anonymous, demoishing a building and planting grass for gutter snipes to congregate isnt development!!

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