Monday, February 15, 2021

News: Progress on Primark pocket park project


Works to prepare the former Primark building on Rotherham High Street for demolition are now underway.

Following Rotherham Council’s purchase of the building in November using funding from the Towns Fund Accelerator programme, the planning application for permission to demolish the building and replace it in the short term with a pocket park and high-quality public space was recently approved.

Local firm, DSR Demolition, has now submitted plans regarding taking down the former BHS store.

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.

The public space will have a stepped profile and proposals include astrotrufed terraces, seating and trees, as well as branding features such as the red scaffolding with black mesh proposed to encase the site. This could be a space for public artwork, and / or large branding and signage.

Also included in the plans are three "pods" on the site which would be occupied by food and beverage vendors. Illustratively, it is proposed that the pods are to be clad in timber panelling and include a green roof however this is yet to be finalised. It is also anticipated that pods could include internal seating areas for users, thereby offering both an eat-in and takeaway dining experience.

In the planning documents, the Council confirmed that there will be no sale of hot food from the pods except for during special events / periods (e.g. Christmas), Sundays and / or Bank Holidays. It is indicated that this would be no more than ten events in any calendar year.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “These are exciting times for Rotherham Town Centre with contracts also being signed between Arc Cinemas and the developers, Muse, to create a new leisure complex on Forge Island.

“The plans for the former Primark building will complement the work that is already underway to create a more attractive area on the High Street and add to the leisure offer that is being developed to encourage families to socialise in attractive and diverse surroundings.

“We are having to adapt and move away from the more traditional use of the town centre, much like other areas across the country. We’re looking at what Rotherham town centre needs to thrive and that means thinking differently and looking at how people will live in and use the town centre in years to come.”

Subject to necessary planning consents, longer term plans include developing the site for new town centre residential living. The Council and its partners are waiting to hear from the Government over its full Towns Fund bid that was detailed by Rothbiz in September.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  February 15, 2021 at 2:25 PM  

Sounds very tasteful.... Not! 👎

Anonymous,  February 16, 2021 at 2:21 PM  

Oh look at us in Rotherham we're so green ......
.....meanwhile in Hellaby, the air pollution's gonna get worse and worse!

Anonymous,  February 16, 2021 at 8:08 PM  

Excellent to see work progressing to replace a derelict building with an attractive and functional public space.

Anonymous,  February 17, 2021 at 5:26 PM  

Yeah functional for winos and druggies to congregate 👎

Anonymous,  February 17, 2021 at 9:28 PM  

Whenever anyone posts a positive comment on this site it is immediately met with derogatory views of Rotherham or its residents. Such a shame.

Anonymous,  February 18, 2021 at 12:35 PM  

I disagree about the negativity on this site. The people and businesses of this town have been knocked, kicked and dragged through the mud more times than I care to remember. There is some terrific work being done by the business community of Rotherham and I think Rothbiz does a great job of showcasing this.

The town has been crying out for regeneration for decades, but I think schemes like this are short-sighted and very ill thought out. There are massive anti-social problems in the town centre and the long term plans of stuffing yet more inappropriate flats on the site is a recipe for disaster.

The one organisation which has the power to bring about wholesale change is RMBC, yet it either seems powerless to act, or uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Reading through the earlier comments, I suspect some have been written tongue in cheek but they underline genuine concerns about just how unsuitable and inappropriate this scheme is.

Personally, I've always welcomed the good news when there is some about the redevelopment of Rotherham Town Centre, but I think those that have voiced concerns about this are right to do so.

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