Thursday, August 12, 2021

News: Resized Rotherham retail scheme resubmitted


Updated plans are in for a new mixed-use scheme which is set to form the heart of the community at the Waverley development in Rotherham.

Rothbiz reported at the end of 2020 that Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, had revealed a development which comprises retail uses, a gym, offices, restaurants and cafes, a supermarket, a medical centre, community space, a bus hub and residential development.

Called Olive Lane, it has been designed to create an attractive and functional retail centre for Waverley. It is proposed to be developed on around ten acres of land that sits between the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the site’s existing residential area.

It follows on from a £50m scheme from Harworth and Dransfield Properties Ltd for the land that was approved in 2017, but new plans are described as "a much smaller proposal" with a lot of flexibility.

Plans, drawn up by Barton Willmore, explain that recession, Brexit and the COVID pandemic means that the retail market is very different from when the previous plans were developed.

The plans state: "In this climate there is very little investment in retail floorspace as the market has contracted so greatly.

"Developments for town centre uses are being reimagined across the piste, with overall floorspace quantities and floorplate sizes reducing. It is with this backdrop that the proposed development at the Site has been altered. A much smaller proposal is now being sought, one which will cater for the immediate needs of the surrounding community, but which will not seek spending from outside its immediate catchment to maintain it."

The plans include:

- 16,500 sq ft building has been designed for a deep discount retailer such as Lidl or Aldi.

- 1,300 sq ft building would be for the new planning class E or sui generis hot food takeaway and is intended to accommodate small service retail occupiers such as key cutting, hairdressers, florists, etc. The size and format means that occupiers can take a small individual unit or amalgamate more than one unit if a large floorplate is needed.

- 2,100 sq ft buildings provide a more standard format unit that could appeal to a range of national multiple comparison goods retailers. One unit could provide a food and drink offer to work alongside the adjacent public space where outdoor seating can be located.

- 7,000 sq ft building includes retail space with a unit designed for food and beverage use on the corner. This building will also include residential properties above first floor.

- 24,500 sq ft building provides a larger floorplate so that drinking establishments and restaurants can be accommodated as well as standard comparison goods retail units. Flexibility is also sought for a unit to be a newsagent or other local convenience goods store.

- 4,800 sq ft medical centre.

- Associated car park with 209 spaces located at the entrance to the supermarket and rear of the mixed use units.

The plans add: "The proposals will form a new high street within Waverley and act as an attractive local destination for residents and business users alike. The range of uses will create a vibrant area that meets a number of different purposes including leisure and retail services. A discount supermarket is proposed within the western portion of the site. Two vehicular accesses are proposed off Stephenson Way."

The site is allocated for a mix of uses and the applicants conclude that the proposed uses are considered suitable and will not result in any adverse impacts on other areas. Trade is expected to be drawn from out of centre locations "and even then, the impact will be negligible. Any impact on designated centres will be similarly low, at no more than 2% on any centre within the catchment area, meaning that there will be no resulting harmful impact."

The case is helped that Rotherham Council has previously accepted that a large amount of retail floorspace in the area is acceptable through the granting of the previous permission on the site.

Knight Frank is the agent for the scheme.

A second application is due to follow later this year for around 150 homes on the remainder of the Olive Lane site.

Waverley website

Images: Harworth / Vector


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