Thursday, January 19, 2023

News: £6m plans to replace burnt out buildings in Rotherham town centre


Details have been revealed for what is set to replace the burnt out buildings on Corporation Street, if and when they come under council control.

A viability report shows how redevelopment doesn't stack up in economic terms without the council using external grant funding.

Rothbiz reported last week that negotiations had so far failed so the authority was again preparing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for 3-7 Corporation Street - the former Envy nightclub building, which suffered a malicious fire in 2007, and Muskaan restaurant, which was closed after a fire in 2011.

Now a planning application has been submitted showing how the key gateway site could be regenerated. Planning permission is a key condition that the council believes gives them a high level of confidence that the use of compulsory purchase powers is justified.

Designed by AHR Architects, the proposals show that the current buildings would be demolished and replaced by a mixed use building, between two and four storeys in height, comprising 19 residential flats and three units totalling 1,238 sq ft of commercial floorspace, plus access, external landscaping and car parking.

Plans are for a mix of 1-bed (7) and 2-bed (12) flats with either garden space on the ground floor or juliet balconies on the upper floors. Access is retained through the site to service the buildings on Bridgegate to the rear and plans include seven parking spaces and space for 40 cycles.

The site is within the town centre conservation area which means that views, especially of Rotherham Minster, are to be respected and so the height of any new buildings are restricted. From the North, the building would step down towards the Chapel on the Bridge.

With contemporary elevations, design elements include red brick and pre-coated steel cladding.

The plans state: "The burnt-out buildings site at 3-7 Corporation Street have been a long-standing problem within Rotherham town centre. The dilapidated condition of the buildings has impacted on the character of this part of the town centre, which is within a conservation area and to where significant regeneration and investment is being directed. As a result, the site needs to be redeveloped.

"The proposed development would introduce commercial floor space into the town centre which will enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre, as well as providing high-quality new homes in a sustainable location, resulting in the regeneration of this long-term derelict and underutlised site.

"The proposed development will positively enhance the appearance of the site and its surrounding area, providing an improved "address" to Corporation Street, making use of and benefitting from the central town centre location. The proposals present an opportunity to provide a statement of regeneration for the area and to make a positive contribution to the appearance of the area to draw in new residents, and further regeneration and development."

Commercial property firm, Eddisons, has provided a viability report for Rotherham Council. It concludes that the development costs associated with the project comes in at £5.94m with the completed properties worth around £2.12m, a gap of £3.8m showing that the development would be unviable. However, the redevelopment is included in the council's plans for using £31.6m it secured from the Towns Fund.

With the external funding available to support the project, the Council has said that it intends to select and work with a private sector developer to bring about delivery upon acquisition. Target dates are for a start on site in January 2025 and completion in March 2026 - two years after the scheduled completion of Forge Island nearby.

Images: AHR / RMBC


Anonymous,  January 19, 2023 at 5:18 PM  

I think in principle this is a good idea, but one thing I genuinely don't understand is why RMBC is planning to build so many one bedroomed flats? Wouldn't it be better to create more high quality two bed flats, or does the fact they're one bed flats indicate how they are likely to be used in the future?

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 12:56 AM  

I support the redevelopment
of the site, but can anyone explain this council's parking policy? If you live next to all the transport hubs you need parking!

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 8:35 AM  

With 7 parking spaces across 21 flats and 3 commercial units they aren't prioritising the car user. Most likely spaces will be for commercial units or those that can afford to rent them.

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 10:16 AM  

Mr or Miss 'why don't they build high rise' will be fuming when they read this.

As for building one bedroom flats, I think that's all that will be needed in the town, at best young singles/couples will live there, at worst whoever they get 'given' to. Is anyone really going to want to raise a family on Corporation Street?

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 2:26 PM  

Got to agree,Rotherham must have so much spare land,why not build bungalows? Obviously as stated terrified to go above 4 storeys!Then we wonder why we're nicknamed Toytown, RMBC run town like Trumpton or is it Candlewick Green!😁😁

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 2:31 PM  

What's this obsession with protection of view of minster,for god's sake many towns and city's have far more important old buildings ,but it doesn't stop them going high rise,not only is it a waste of valuable building land,but it also loses council revenue in council tax,why put a dozen flats on a site,where you found put 40 flats in same footprint by building upwards??Then they moan that they're struggling with revenue.A town run by clowns!

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 3:03 PM  

This is great news and this labour cabinet is moving forward with regeneration and I for one fully support it.

Anonymous,  January 20, 2023 at 3:13 PM  

And here they are! Play another tune. Yawn.

Anonymous,  January 21, 2023 at 10:42 PM  

£3.8m gap, makes sense?? Build it taller with more flats. Plenty will want to live next to The County.

Anonymous,  January 22, 2023 at 9:37 AM  

Yet cant find a plan or design that delivers a profit?

Anonymous,  January 23, 2023 at 1:09 AM  

Strange how plenty want to live in virtually every other town centre I see in my travels working around country...indo actually get out of Rotherham, unlike many deluded fools who post on here!

Anonymous,  January 23, 2023 at 1:12 AM  

If it's unviable,don't build it,wait for better times ,when it can be built,and something more in tune with a town centre than these "bungalows"🤪

Anonymous,  January 26, 2023 at 2:37 PM  

Well done. People already do live in town, like next to Tesco, off Doncaster Road etc. Thing is with this development is that they have been told it's not financially viable, so why not go back to drawing board and think of something that is. Two storey buildings with empty commercial units aren't much use.

Anonymous,  January 27, 2023 at 12:30 PM  

Knock them down and stick a warehouse in their place, RMBC seem to love a warehouse! Oh wait, that wouldn't suit the green credentials RMBC are promoting for the Town Centre......

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