Thursday, June 15, 2023

News: Developer plants the seed for housing on Rotherham garden centre site


Avant Homes has announced proposals for the residential redevelopment of a Rotherham garden centre that closed three years ago.

Early plans explain how a Grade II listed building would be incorporated into the scheme for 40 new homes, and how a connected site has the potential for 351 further dwellings.

Rothbiz reported in 2020 that Fosters Garden Centre would close. The Foster family had been in business in Thrybergh for over a hundred years, growing to include a garden centre, antiques centre, machinery department, coffee shop and a cycle retail outlet.

With the site remaining vacant, Avant Homes is in the process of preparing a full planning application for the construction of up to 40 dwellings, including the conversion of the existing buildings to produce up to seven dwellings at Doncaster Road. 2, 3 and 4 bedroom terraced, semi-detached and detached homes are mentioned.

Considered brownfield in nature, the site comprises buildings from the former garden centre, a large area of hard standing and a former petrol filling station.

The garden centre was based around the cartshed, granary and stable of Chestnut Tree Farm which dates from 1816. These Grade II Listed buildings would be retained and sympathetically converted. Other buildings, including the petrol station would be demolished and a new point of access will be developed directly off Doncaster Road.

It is expected that up to 30 high quality energy efficient new homes will be included in the plans, 25% of which will be affordable homes of a variety of tenures to meet identified local housing needs.

Avant said in its consultation documents: "Our aim is to create a development which is designed to be sympathetic to the existing locality and the Listed Buildings whilst enhancing the existing character of the surroundings through creating contextual design features and using high quality materials.

"The site offers the opportunity to deliver a design-led residential development on vacant brownfield land that is in a highly sustainable location of Rotherham."

The community consultation also hints at the future for the wider area where a large field to the north of St Gerard's Catholic Primary School was designated for residential use in the borough's local plan. Known as site H26, the 41 acre site has the capicity for 351 dwellings.

The documents add: "As part of our planning application, we will produce a masterplan to show how our development will not prejudice the development of H26 and how the two sites can be integrated together to form a sustainable and interconnected scheme."

The consultation runs until June 26 before a planning application is submitted.

Avant Homes website

Images: Google Maps / Avant


Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 2:21 PM  

Great news. No doubt our resident sky bandit would have liked the Grade 2 listing to be removed and a multi story development built, but heyho you can't please malcontents all the time

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 3:34 PM  

Is there any truth to rumour I've heard that RMBC forced Fosters to sell the land for development, effectively forcing them out of business?

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 5:08 PM  

No truth at all. The business suffered significant losses as a result of the fire in 2018 which it never really recovered from. This coupled with the impact of closures during the pandemic and changing shopping habits made the business unviable.

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 7:05 PM  

Heard no doubt over a few pints in the Angel

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 1:32 AM  

We very much liked going to the cafe at Foster's, but rarely shopped ar the garden centre because their prices were a bit on the steep side. I am glad that the site will be brought back to life

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 2:50 PM  

Unlike Wentworth Garden Centre which has expanded and diversified tremendously over the past 15 years, Foster's just seemed to stagnate. Can't think of one single piece of investment during it's last 15 years in business. It would have shut down years ago if the cafe hadn't been so popular.

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 6:17 PM  

Wentworth is a much more afluent area

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 11:23 PM  

That is quite obviously true but I'm not quite sure how that accounts for the demise of Fosters

Anonymous,  June 17, 2023 at 11:52 AM  

More customers willing to spend more

Anonymous,  June 17, 2023 at 3:36 PM  

What difference does that make? I doubt Wentworth Garden Centre would survive purely on custom from the residents of Wentworth. People come from all over to visit the garden centre.

Anonymous,  June 18, 2023 at 1:01 PM  

You don’t know what you’re talking about

Anonymous,  June 18, 2023 at 3:08 PM  

In your closed mind opinion, maybe

Anonymous,  June 19, 2023 at 4:34 PM  

Where are people going to visit on a day out, Wentworth or Thrybergh? Not a hard question to answer. Thats why the investment was different

Anonymous,  June 20, 2023 at 4:55 PM  

Wentworth is more of a leisure destination with the majority of the centers trade from the restaurants, food offerings and farm. Fosters was predominantly a garden center focused on retail with a small cafe so a totally different market.

Anonymous,  August 18, 2023 at 8:11 PM  

Fosters closed because they didn't have any idea of what the customers wanted/needed when buying stock. All over priced ! You only have to look at waites further up the Rd to see that…
Covid was the perfect excuse!!

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