Monday, February 22, 2021

News: More Council-owned retail premises set to be demolished


Rotherham Council is proposing to demolish an underutilised parade of shops on the edge of Rotherham town centre.

The move follows similar planned demolitions that are making way for development and new green space at Forge Island and on the High Street.

Approved by the Council's cabinet this week, the authoarity's latest budget includes a number of capital projects - including a £200,000 programme for 86 - 102 Wellgate.

A council paper states: "Like many towns, Rotherham is facing a significant and sustained challenge to its retail function. There is a consensus that the retail core of Rotherham Town Centre is too large and widely spaced. As a result, retail units such as those on Wellgate have suffered in recent years with many of the units persistently suffering from void periods or the ones that are occupied often having rent arrears. This has led to a lack of investment and the subject properties have fallen into a state of significant disrepair with no long-term future for commercial/retail use.

"The location of these properties is on one of the main arterial routes into the town centre and adjacent to the site known as Henley’s Garage which is currently under redevelopment to provide 54 new residential units by January 2022. As such this parade of units is considered a blight on the improving area and consideration has now been given to looking at alternative uses."

Work is underway by council contractors on two apartment blocks on the Henley's Garage site containing 34 homes and 20 two and three-storey terraced houses, with a value of £8.5m.

The adjacent site is not currently identified within any current plans the Council have for residential redevelopment in the wider town centre area. If funding was made available and units are brought forward, they would be additional to current pipeline schemes and help meet the 2,000 homes figure that the Council aims to see delivered within the town centre.

Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, said: "This is really crucial. As town centres are shrinking all over the country, not just Rotherham, we need a really good core centre, but also we need fantastic gateways into the town centre. By demolishing the old commercial peroperties on Wellgate it will improve the gateway in, but also, which is really important, is that housing colleagues are developing the Henley Garage site and that will provide really good quality housing for the people of Rotherham. This site is adjacent to it on Wellgate and could potentially unlock another development opportunity."

The paper adds: "It is considered that the demolition and redevelopment of the site for residential purposes would complement the ongoing development of Henley’s and the wider town centre area. However, there is a substantial viability gap in bringing any scheme to the market in terms of the demolition costs and it is considered that the site would not be brought forward for development without intervention. The marketing of the site on a cleared basis, bridges the viability gap and would make the site a much more attractive proposition for development."

It is considered feasible that the site could support the development of a block of 20+ affordable apartments similar to those on the adjoining Henley's site.

In addition, a £163m capital programme also includes an extra £4.1m for town centre regeneration, funding for town centre housing schemes and strategic acquisitions.

Images: Google Maps


Bunnyman February 22, 2021 at 1:30 PM  

What about the burnt out buildings on corporation street

Anonymous,  February 22, 2021 at 1:38 PM  

They aren't owned by the council. I wrote an update on them last year -

Graldhunter February 22, 2021 at 3:46 PM  

And yet only a few months ago Rovrum Laybah Numpty Councillors n Myopic Hoffisaz were giving it large about a significant increase in town centre footfall, yes, they were right, there is "footall" in Rovrum these days, lol 😂😂😂😂

Anonymous,  February 22, 2021 at 7:24 PM  

Why not convert them into residential and tidy up the frontage? More older parts of the Town Centre flattened to make way for featureless concrete boxes

Anonymous,  February 22, 2021 at 11:11 PM  

Bout times this row was demolished. Unfortunately the houses they are building, will simply (and quickly) become the latest slums. Town centres are places for multi storey quality apartments, the likes of keppel wharf, not 3 bedroom houses! Rotherham Council haven't got a clue!

Anonymous,  February 22, 2021 at 11:14 PM  

Any other authority would've already pushed ahead with compulsary purchase, and the planned hotel for site built.... But hey this is is Rotherham!

Bunnyman February 23, 2021 at 11:39 AM  

Doesn’t matter who owns them they need removing and the area smartened up.

royherbert February 23, 2021 at 10:26 PM  

This has been planned for a long time, I heard this was happening 3 years ago. These are not fit to redevelop and will just be vandalized and prone to our resident arsonists. The money spent on the high street Primark site should have been allocated to this site it is ripe for housing development and should improve the area if done tastefully and not the usual concrete blocks, This is a main route into town and we don't need any retail units built into this it should be all allocated to housing.

Anonymous,  February 24, 2021 at 11:51 AM  

Much of wellgate should face the wrecking ball,if people take there rose coloured spectacles and nostalgia hats off, they'll see that much of property is rat infested slum, pretty sure virtually any other town would've demolished property's like these years ago, don't see likes of these property's in centre of Barnsley or Doncaster?

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