Tuesday, June 6, 2023

News: Riverside Gardens plans approved


Planning permission has been approved for a riverside park alongside new regeneration schemes in Rotherham town centre.

Plans were submitted in November to create Riverside Gardens on an area extending from the demolished Riverside Precinct, covering the old abattoir site behind Market Street, most recently used as a riverside car park now considered to be surplus to requirements, and passing the Old Market, Keppel Wharf and Westgate Chambers residential developments.

With the pedestrianisation of part of Market Street and Domine Lane, the aim is to form an entrance leading to Riverside Gardens and Forge Island from the town centre.

Rotherham Council planners have approved the plans without going to the planning board after issues where eventually overcome relating to the Canal and River Trust acceessing the locks, Yorkshire Water's requirements in the area and the council's Highways team over the closure of roads, servicing of buildings in the area and pedestrian and cycle access.

Using a mixture of soft and hard landscaping, Riverside Gardens will be a gateway to the heart of the town centre. It will offer residents a place to socialise and relax close to new amenities such as the Arc Cinema, a 69-roomed hotel, and a range of restaurants and bars on Forge Island, which is being delivered in partnership with nationwide placemaker, Muse.

It will offer residents a play area for children and a range of seating so that they can enjoy views along the river.

Following on from the success of the nearby fish pass on Masbrough weir, the scheme will also support local wildlife by providing bat boxes and a tunnelled sand martin box along the river side.

Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Cllr David Sheppard, said: “Riverside Gardens will transform an underused site to fantastic public space which will allow residents to connect with the river and nature. It will be a great addition to the green spaces in the town centre, providing nearby residents with a space where they can meet and feel the benefits of nature. I am glad to see that the riverside, home to some of our favourite wildlife, will be easily accessed and enjoyed by all members of our communities.”

The scheme will be funded by the Future High Streets Fund following on from the Council’s successful bid for a total of £12.6m for numerous public realm schemes in the town centre.

Riverside Gardens will complement the wider Town Centre Regeneration Masterplan to bring major investment into the heart of Rotherham’s cultural and leisure quarter, and town centre housing.

Whilst the proposals indicate that Muse is unlikely to continue with future plans for 50 riverside residential units on the abattoir site, regeneration plans in the area include mixed use plans for the vacant bank site and burnt out buildings sites on Corporation Street, as well as the potential for a new theatre where the council has acquired the former Wilko store and vacant bingo hall.

Rotherham Council’s Assistant Director of Planning, Regeneration and Transport, Simon Moss, said: “More and more people are choosing to move into the town centre, thanks to the fantastic range of housing available at the nearby Westgate Chambers, Milford Rise, Westgate Riverside and Wellgate Place. With increasing numbers of people coming into the town centre, it makes business more viable and we are already starting to see new and independent businesses investing in Rotherham.”

The council's contractors, Tetra Tech (formerly WYG), are leading on the scheme.

Andrew Clarke, Head of Urban Design, Tetra Tech, said: "We have developed a strong understanding of the Council’s aspirations and working in partnership, we are making excellent progress towards delivering transformational change. A key step has been securing investment and funding, from various sources, across a broad portfolio of projects. This will help in developing Rotherham Town Centre into a thriving place for everyone, especially for younger age groups."

Tetra Tech website
Rotherham town centre website

Images: RMBC / Tetra Tech


Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 11:54 AM  

Ooo goodie! More Public Realm!

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 1:56 PM  

Can't believe they're wasting prime land in a town centre to plant grass,...only Rotherham, especially when there's a huge park(Clifton ) virtually in town centre and various other green spaces,as well as all miles to walk down canal If there's one thing Rotherham town centre doesn't need more of,it's public realm aka space for gutter snipes to congregate!

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 2:02 PM  

Simon moss,says more and more people are choosing to move to town centre,yet muse,must see it otherwise as they've scrapped plans for 50 appartments... somebody talking bollax!

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 2:05 PM  

Stop wasting millions on this landscaping crap,just leave the sites derilict while development is feasible.Stop wasting out money!

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:10 PM  

What a fantastic concept. Congratulations to all involved. Can't wait to see it come to fruition.

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:12 PM  

Great scheme. I am sure it will be enjoyed by generations of Rotherham folks to come

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:42 PM  

Riverside parks are the future and Rotherham is leading the way

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:43 PM  

A literacy course would not be a waste of money

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:44 PM  

Totally agree with this view. Splendid, simply splendid

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:46 PM  

I think you'll find that, by definition, gutter snipes congregate in the gutter. You must be thinking about public realm snipes.

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:50 PM  

I, VE just moved from Sheffield to live in a town centre apartment and I think it is great. Can't wait to be able to walk to Forge Island to dine in one of the new restaurants. I think maybe you Rotherham people should stop knocking your town

Anonymous,  June 6, 2023 at 8:51 PM  

Sorry, I missed where Muse was cancelling building 50 apartments. Where were they going to be?

Anonymous,  June 7, 2023 at 8:38 AM  

Real progress at last. Well done indeed.

Anonymous,  June 7, 2023 at 10:01 AM  

Forge Island forges ahead!!!

Anonymous,  June 7, 2023 at 2:30 PM  

You can never have too many gardens

Anonymous,  June 8, 2023 at 4:41 PM  

This will make the area much more attractive so I welcome it. Far to many moaners on here.

Anonymous,  June 8, 2023 at 6:40 PM  

If they didn't come on here to moan they would have nothing to do all day other than write rambling letters to the Advertiser

Anonymous,  June 10, 2023 at 6:45 PM  

I actually think they manage to do both.

Anonymous,  June 11, 2023 at 9:58 AM  

Walked past Forge Island yesterday and was very impressed with the progress made. Also popped into Magoos for a pint. Very nice place. The town centre will look a treat once everything comes together. Then if the misanthropes can put aside their prejudices and support their town we could actually end up with a different but thriving little place

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