Wednesday, October 27, 2021

News: Eastwood regen plans shelved


A project that would have seen Rotherham Council buying up houses in an effort to turnaround an area with a number of problems looks to have been shelved due to a lack of Government funding.

Rothbiz reported in June that Rotherham was provisionally awarded £31.6m from a "town deal" with the Government which it plans to use to revamp areas of the town centre as well as Templeborough and Eastwood.

£5.1m was earmarked for improving housing and connectivity in Eastwood with potential interventions including new family housing on underused land on York Road, on the site of the closed Netherfield Court care home and on Erskine Road. Some existing residential properties in the area were set to be refurbished and transformed.

The Eastwood area was one of the first four areas where Rotherham Council introduced a selective licensing scheme to tackle the low housing demand and significant and persistent levels of antisocial behaviour (ASB) related to the private rented sector.

Other potential interventions to improve connectivity at Eastwood include replacing the two bridges over the rail line and canal to better connect Parkgate's retail centre, and tram-train stop, with Eastwood Village. At St Ann's, filling in the underpass is proposed with the creation of better, at grade, connections for pedestrians and cyclists.

The £31.6m offer was lower than £35m bid and so the Rotherham Town Deal Board has had to take the difficult decision to cut some projects.

The potential demonstrator scheme to acquire and refurbish terraced houses in Eastwood has now been dropped.

Houses within residential terraced blocks would have delivered new homes converted from two properties into one.

Investment plans stated that "The identified blocks have the poorest quality housing and the most antisocial issues with accommodation unsuitable and cramped for the larger families which currently reside in the area. Groups of 2 x 2-bedroom properties will be converted into 1 x 4-bedroom homes, with general refurbishment and fit out. Private back gardens can be transformed into communal shared gardens, maintained under a separate management agreement, with small semi-private areas immediately behind units, solving issues around rights of access and anti-social behaviour in the alleyways."

But now board minutes confirm that: "Of all the projects this is probably one of the riskiest. We do not want to pursue CPO [compulsary purchase order] for residential properties and as such it relies on acquisition of neighbouring properties, which could prove difficult. As such it is recommended this project is not pursued at the current time."

Rotherham Council brought in consultants, ARUP and WYG, to work on the bid and created the Rotherham Town Deal Board, which is private sector chaired and brings together the public and private sectors. AHR along with Turner and Townsend have now been brought in as consultants to work on the remaining projects which inlcude regenerating the Guest & Chrimes site and Corporation Street in the town centre, and the remaining Eastwood projects.

Images: RMBC


Mr me October 27, 2021 at 2:18 PM  

Good. Why waste money on a lost cause.Eastwood us a cesspit and as been for many years.

Mark,  October 27, 2021 at 10:37 PM  

It's a shame the funding wasn't forthcoming though hopefully future schemes will be more successful in the area

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