Tuesday, July 26, 2022

News: Expansion plans approved in same week Rotherham pub suffers fire


Plans that enable a pub to expand in Rotherham town centre were approved just days after the building suffered a fire attended by several fire crews.

The Rhinoceros pub on Bridgegate was one of 16 pubs put up for sale by J D Wetherspoons in 2019.

Known locally as "Rhinos," the pub has operated independently from Wetherspoon but was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The property twice went unsold at auction at the end of 2021 from a guide price of £495,000 and being let on a seven year lease from October 2019 at a rent of £104,000 per annum.

The pub is named after the Rhinoceros Vase, which was made in 1826 at the nearby Rockingham Pottery Works. At the time of its production the 1.15m high vase was the largest piece of porcelain to have been fired in one piece anywhere in the world.

Owners, Essex-based Cape Designs ltd, have been progressing plans to extend the pub into the adjoining unit that they also own.

The former retail unit and amusement arcade next door has been vacant since at least 2017 and is being incorporated into the pub with the opening up of an internal door. The redevelopment is set to double the size of the pub to almost 10,000 sq ft.

Without going to planning board, Rotherham Council approved the plans on July 20, stating that: "It is considered that in this instance, as the proposal is to extend an existing public house, and as it would bring the premises back into use, the proposal is acceptable in principle."

On July 16, South Yorkshire Police confirmed that: "Several fire crews attended a derelict building fire at 10:35pm on Bridgegate in Rotherham Town Centre. The fire also spread to a gym next door. The fire is believed to have started accidentally. Crews left the scene at 2:05pm."

The Revolution Gym above the pub was reportedly found with a cannabis farm set up in 2021. Auction documents stated that the extensive upper floor accommodation could be converted to residential or other uses, subject to obtaining the necessary consents.

Adjacent to the site, plans were approved in 2021 to convert empty retail premises into six flats. The former Walmsley furniture store is Grade II listed having been built in the mid 18th century as a townhouse. Most recently a Poundstretcher, it was bought prior to going to auction at the end of 2020 with a guide price of £110,000.

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  July 26, 2022 at 1:11 PM  

Maybe they can move there investment to another vacant property,The cross Keys comes to mind,time that was reopened before firebugs or canibis farm moves in there!

Anonymous,  July 26, 2022 at 7:03 PM  

A fire is the last thing this was needed, this project will probably never get finished! The town centre needs more pubs not less!

Anonymous,  July 27, 2022 at 12:38 AM  

Pretty sure this project won't get completed,think it's due for demolition.As said above maybe they can mm over to another project like the mentioned Cross Keys.

Anonymous,  July 27, 2022 at 6:21 PM  

So are they still going to continue with the development? Surely it will be totally rebuilt after demolition?

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