Wednesday, October 26, 2022

News: Approval for flats plan at historic Rotherham pub


A prominent former pub on the edge of Rotherham town centre that has stood vacant for a number of years looks set to brought back into use after plans were approved for its conversion.

Rothbiz reported in March that a planning application had been submitted for the former Wellington Boot on Westgate that would see the large building converted into nine apartments.

Most recently used as Get Sorted Academy of Music, a charity that used music to build up self-esteem, improve grades and develop social skills in young people, the building has been vacant since the charity closed the venue in 2017.

Plans came forward by LNA Interiors of Beighton (a company that has since gone into liquidation), showing that the three storeys, plus basement and outbuildings, could be converted into five 1-bed flats and four 2-bed flats - eight in the main building and a self-contained dwelling in the outbuilding.

Last year the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said that "following the sale of the former "Get Sorted Academy of Music" building on Westgate, which was gifted back to the Trust when the charity closed, the proceeds are being invested back into Rotherham" and grants of up to £2,000 were made available to help organisations support those in crisis. The scheme is due to run until 2024.

Following discussions with planners at Rotherham Council the plans have been ammended and a proposed basement apartment with windows opening onto light wells beneath the pavement on Wilfrid Street has been removed "as it was considered that there was insufficient natural light and outlook for future residents of this property."

The building is not listed, unlike the Cutler's Arms over the road, but sits within the town centre conservation area. The new proposals state that any external alterations will be limited. For example, a number of bricked up windows would be re-opened and the majority of the existing timber windows would be retained and made good.

A heritage statement submitted with the plans from Thompson Heritage Consultancy, explains that: "52 Westgate was built in 1903 as “The Wellington Inn Free House”. The Arts and Crafts movement (circa 1860 - 1925) sought to create attractive buildings with details of fine craftsmanship to counteract the grim industrialisation of the 19th century.

A report from the planners confirms: "The overall external appearance of the building would be little changed from its existing appearance and the conversion would allow the original use of the building, as a public house, to be easily read."

South Yorkshire Archaeology Service raised concerns about the loss of any historic interiors of the building, relating to its original use as a public house. However, an internal inspection confirmed that the building has been entirely gutted and taken back to the brick.

The plans include cycle lockers but no on site parking, which is considered acceptable due to the town centre location. The same reason applies to the lack of outdoor amenity space at the site.

Two units are slightly smaller than residential design guides suggest but planners consider this to be "acceptable in this instance as the layout of the building would make conversion to larger units difficult."

The Council’s Environmental Health Officer also raised concerns about potential noise from Westgate and existing uses on Westgate such as public houses and other businesses. As such, they recommend an internal ventilation system be installed, which would allow future residents to suitably ventilate their homes without the need for opening windows. A condition is attached to the planning permission requiring that this recommendation is carried out.

Planners conclude: "The proposed conversion and alterations to this building are acceptable in design terms and would preserve the character and appearance of the Rotherham Town Centre Conservation Area. Furthermore, the proposal, subject to conditions will provide sufficient amenity for future residents."

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  October 27, 2022 at 11:10 AM  

How about plans approved for pub to reopen, that would be better same goes for cross keys !

Anonymous,  October 27, 2022 at 11:18 AM  

It was always going to happen when it was referred to the clowns in the planning department. Disgraceful move by the Coalfield Regeneration Trust to flog this building off at a knocked down price to a greedy speculator.

There are no winners with schemes like this and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there is a mystery fire on the site.

Anonymous,  October 27, 2022 at 11:30 AM  

Agree totally, especially Cross keys,before it falls victim to a mysterious fire!

Anonymous,  October 27, 2022 at 9:39 PM  

Got to love this statement..."Two units are slightly smaller than residential design guides suggest but planners consider this to be "acceptable in this instance as the layout of the building would make conversion to larger units difficult."" So design guides for best practice are being ignored because it would be difficult, i.e. they can make more smaller flats for greater profit

Anonymous,  October 28, 2022 at 11:49 AM  

Well immigrants don't mind small flats,and that who they'll be aimed at..our country is being swamped!

Anonymous,  October 28, 2022 at 1:06 PM  

It's about time the planning department was put into special measures. They clearly haven't got a clue what they're doing. They can't consistently make mistakes so basic and continue to get away with it.

Let's not forget that this approval would have been rubber stamped by one of the most inept councillors that the people of Rotherham have ever had the misfortune to elect.

Anonymous,  October 28, 2022 at 2:30 PM  

Why would they reopen a pub in that location? They may as well just burn they're money, it'd be quicker and easier. There's a reason the pubs around there have shut.

Anonymous,  October 29, 2022 at 1:59 AM  

Cutler's over road does great??

Anonymous,  October 30, 2022 at 8:59 AM  

They don't need to worry about parking, it is Westgate so double yellow lines mean it's free to park, just like Wellgate.

Anonymous,  October 30, 2022 at 9:03 AM  

application_ref RB2022/0162

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