Tuesday, June 15, 2021

News: Council working to secure funding for next Rotherham town centre housing schemes


Rotherham Council is hoping to secure further funding via the Sheffield City Region (SCR) to back its aim to see over 1,000 new homes in the town centre.

The authority committed £50m over the next few years to build homes and 1,000s of new homes were earmarked in the town centre masterplan which places an importance on enabling more people to live in the town centre.

With construction well underway on schemes aimed at kickstarting housebuilding (like Sheffield Road, pictured top), now further sites, and pots of external funds, are being targeted.

At the SCR Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA), work is ongoing to update the South Yorkshire Housing Fund (Brownfield) programme which secured £40.3m of capital funding from the Government in 2020.

£20m of the money has to be spent by the end of March 2022 and Rotherham Council is close to securing £433,950 to help build 32 new homes on small sites under its ownership.

A £1.74m project for 46 new homes at Eastwood is being put forward for the next round. This should tie in to the recent £31.6m Town Deal award.

And in the final round, the council's focus turns to brownfield sites in Rotherham town centre, where it envisages that funding via the SCR could help build over 300 new homes.

Sites include Snail Hill, near to where Rotherham Council acquired and demolished the former Primark store with plans for a temporary pocket park. 24 units could be created on land here.

At Forge Island, the fund could be used to create 70 units. With a cinema and hotel at the heart of the scheme, developers also secured approval for outline plans for later phases, including 70 residential units on the site of the former courts buildings, which the council acquired for £1.

Further riverside sites are earmarked for new housing.

A report to the MCA explained: "Many of the key locations in the Sheffield City Region are brownfield sites, with associated costs of land remediation and essential infrastructure requirements, which impact on scheme viability and prevent schemes from moving into delivery.

"The MHCLG [The Government] agreement stipulates the Brownfield Housing Fund allocated to the MCA should "unlock" delivery of 2,500 to 3,500 homes by March 2025."

Rotherham Council is also hoping to secure cash via the city region for its upcoming town centre projects. A business case is being developed for £3m from the MCA's gainshare pot that would enable the council to acquire strategic units in Rotherham town centre. These would complement the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) focusing on the regeneration of the retail core, creating public realm and active travel routes.

Rotherham was awarded £12.6m of Government funding through the FHSF includes things like the redevelopment of Markets (including a new central library), the creation of high-quality Riverside Gardens linking the Forge Island redevelopment with the town centre, further public realm works, and the Grimm & Co redevelopment at Talbot Lane.

In setting out is budget, council officers included an extra £4.1m pot for the FHSF programme to help make up a shortfall. It also set aside £1m in its capital budget for strategic acquisitions.

Images: RMBC


Anonymous,  June 15, 2021 at 1:34 PM  

Just hope these new homes are quality appartment blocks and not simple houses,town centres are not place for houses!

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