Wednesday, April 6, 2022

News: Council set to acquire land and property for regeneration projects

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Rotherham Council's cabinet has approved strategic land assembly proposals to aid a number of its regeneration schemes.

Areas in the town centre, Eastwood, Templeborough and Parkgate are in line for an economic boost backed by over £80m from the Government through the Town Deal, Levelling Up Fund and Future High Streets Fund.

A council paper explained the need for public sector intervention to acquire land and property owned by the private sector which was required for the regeneration programme.

No sites have been revealed due to commercial sensitivity but programmes include the Riverside Residential Quarter along Westgate and Sheffield Road (sketched above), the Leisure and Cultural Quarter planned for Corporation Street, a proposed new Mainline Station in the Parkgate area and further investment in Eastwood.

Council minutes state: "Whilst it was the preferred option that the sites be acquired by agreement with the private land owners, it was vital that the Council be prepared to acquire the land via Compulsory Purchase Order powers (CPO) if need be. If a CPO was required, a further report would be brought back to Cabinet.

"Consultation with affected landowners had taken place where appropriate and in most cases the first stages of negotiations had begun. Specific consultation on project proposals would take place as schemes moved forward."

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The latest report links back to a 2017 proposal for the Council to look at using a CPO to deal with two large burnt out buildings on Corporation Street.

Plans for a 69 room hotel development to be built on the site have lapsed. It is understood that council officials are hoping to see the site used for a new residential development.

Connected to the nearby Forge Island development, the Leisure and Cultural Quarter is proposed to continue "to include Corporation Street, a cluster of underused buildings which will provide leisure and residential uses on a smaller scale catering for independent providers and contributing to a 24-hour presence in the town centre."

One recent deal saw Rotherham Council spend £335,955 on acquiring the former Charter Arms pub to aid regeneration proposals for the markets.

Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “You see this with councils doing regeneration projects everywhere: owning the asset is one of the key elements of being able to deliver it, and Rotherham Council owned and continues to own very little, in terms of land in the town centre.

“We started out with the money that was banked from the sale of Tesco on the Forge Island site, and that last round of town centre regeneration. We’ve actually contributed very little capital funding beyond that.

"But we have been very successful in securing external funding, much more than we imagined we could be a couple of years ago. This puts us in a position where we’ve got this big programme to deliver, but needing to acquire quite a substantial number of sites.”

Images: AHR / RMBC / Google Maps

5 comments:

Anonymous,  April 6, 2022 at 8:44 PM  

"Mainline Station in the Parkgate area" - connecting to what? Can we have a reality check? No money in 'Nothern Rail Plan'; SYPT leaving the tram stop where it is; No money for busses in South Yorkshire. How will this ever fit in to an integrated 'green' transport plan? When does 'joined up' thinking break out, or is it 'too complicated' to inform the public as usual with RMBC?

Anonymous,  April 7, 2022 at 12:02 AM  

Anonymous,it would be a mainline station.....because it's on the mainline and London and cross country services us that line,so therefore Rotherham would be linked to mainline hardly rocket science!

Anonymous,  April 7, 2022 at 12:04 AM  

What's betting the site of burnt out nightclub,gets simple houses,when it should get multiple storey appartment blocks, Rotherham daren't build more than 5 storeys,joke of a town!!

Anonymous,  April 7, 2022 at 1:54 PM  

Anonymous,'it would be a mainline station' - A main line station in.... Parkgate! We had a 'mainline station' at Masbrough once and according to many comments on this news site, 'its too far out'. Until we get a Council that actually thinks 'How will people get to it?', we are lost!

Anonymous,  April 8, 2022 at 3:18 PM  

One interesting thing to note re: Charter Arms. The site was being advertised for sale pre-covid with a price tag of circa £150,000-£200,000.

So the heroes of the hour, RMBC managed to step in and purchase it for more than double the asking price (I suspect the price they paid reflects that there was interest in it elsehwere, and heaven forbid, from someone who probably wanted to do something with the site!)... absolutely balmy.

RMBC isn't the solution when it comes to regeneration, it's a massive part of the problem.

What a complete and utter waste of money.

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