Tuesday, December 13, 2022

News: Food outlets and drive thru planned for empty Rotherham car showroom


A vacated car showroom on a prominent site in Rotherham could be filled up again, if newly submitted plans are approved.

Rothbiz reported last year that local firm, Burrows Motor Company, would make the short joutney across to town to the former Volkswagen Rotherham site in Wickersley, vacating its former home at Templeborough.

The purpose-built vehicle dealership at the riverside site at Ickles roundabout has been empty since Burrows moved out.

Euro Garages Limited has now set out how it could repurpose the site in a planning application submitted to Rotherham Council.

Part of the EG Group, the petrol station company whose owners also control Asda and has various brands and outlets across the globe, the firm wants to create a petrol filling station and drive through coffee shop at Templeborough.

Plans show that the the existing 9,000 sq ft showroom would be retained and be converted into a petrol station building with an ancillary retail store and three food-to-go units. The coffee shop would be a seperate building proposed to the south of the petrol station, with its drive through lane running along its southern side.

Fuel pumps with a canopy, vacuum and jet wash facilities are also proposed along with electric charging points and new trees, hedgerows, shrub and wildflower planting.

Operating 24 hours, applicants say that the development would create 30 jobs.

It has not be revealed which occupiers may open in the development but in the UK, EG Group works with Asda on the Move and Spar, as well as Burger King, Greggs, Cooplands, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, KFC, Cinnabon and Subway.

The site lies within Flood Risk Zones 2 and 3, which has the highest risk of fluvial / tidal flooding. Applicants argue that allthough the site is identified for industrial and business uses within the borough's local plan, it does not contain either industrial or business use - it being a car showroom that has been vacant for over a year.

The plans, drawn up by Atticus Planning, state: "The development seeks to redevelop a brownfield site into a modern, fresh development which will serve as a boost to the local economy and generally improve the visual appearance of the immediate surrounding area.

"In terms of the environment, the proposals involve a significant increase in the amount and quality of new soft, native landscape features which the site currently lacks, thus improving the quality of the natural environment and encouraging biodiversity.

"In terms of the amenity benefits, the proposals will provide key amenity facilities to both local workers and passing traffic on Sheffield Road.

"Furthermore, the proposals are considered compatible with surrounding land uses and would therefore not adversely affect nearby amenity. It will likely act as a driver for other, nearby vacant employment plots coming forward as through the availability of day-to-day food and drink facilities and services, will make the area more attractive to future employers."

A sequential assessment has not been undertaken "due to the fact the site already functions on a retail basis" and applicants argue about the retail and food uses, adding: "Whilst it will contain a retail store and food-to-go units within it, they are a fundamental part of the site’s role as a road-side services facility. It is primarily targeted at passing traffic on the existing network, rather than being a retail destination in its own right. Indeed, due to the retail element being tied with the petrol station and the nature of its custom, it would not seek to compete with existing shops, restaurants or cafes within existing centres."

Rotherham Council has been developing its own plans for the Templeborough area, with around £6.5m from the Town Deal set to be used to create a new "heart" of the business zone by "bringing forward underutilised sites and creating new opportunities for businesses within accessible and pleasant public realm."

EG Group website

Images: Colliers


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