Tuesday, June 13, 2023

News: Update on Rotherham burnt out buildings


The council's acquisition of two large burnt out buildings in Rotherham town centre has another layer of complexity with the recent death of the landowner and the property going into probate.

The aim is to redevelop the plot on Corporation Street with a £6m mixed use scheme.

The authority served a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) in April after negotiations with the owners failed with the council previously stating that there is a "wide gulf between the landowner’s expectations on price and realistic values for the properties."

Located on a key gateway into the town centre, the burnt-out buildings that make up 3-7 Corporation Street have been a long-standing eyesore in Rotherham. Khyber Pass Indian Restaurant (no.7) suffered fire damage in December 2005 with the ‘Envy’ night club above (no.7) suffering a similar fate in April 2007 (affecting the retail units below). The Muskaan Indian Restaurant (no. 3-5) was also fire damaged in July 2011.

An update to Rotherham Council's cabinet states: "Despite approaches from the Council, the owner of the property is unable or unwilling to bring it forward for redevelopment. Negotiations with the landowner’s agent commenced in April 2021 and have continued over recent months. Despite these continued negotiations agreement on the voluntary acquisition has not been reached and is not considered likely by Officers within a reasonable timescale, or at all.

"Negotiations with the landowner’s agent towards the end of 2022 were more positive but it has still not been possible to reach an agreement on the land acquisition. The landowner, as indicated at the Land Registry, has recently passed away and his Estate is subject to Probate. An offer to acquire the property has been put in writing and issued to the solicitors dealing with the matter. As a result of these circumstances, the inability to reach agreement on the acquisition, timescales relating to the funding and the prior non cooperation of the landowner, it was considered necessary to make and serve the Order [CPO}."

When acquired, the buildings would be demolished and a private sector developer would be brought in to build a £6m residential-led, mixed-use development, comprising of apartments with commercial space on the ground floor. Plans were approved last month.

£3.2m has already been secured through the Town Deal and Levelling Up funds which is intended to be used to acquire the land, clear the site and address the viability gap that exists in the development scheme.

Rotherham Council has said that it will secure the necessary resources to deliver the scheme by making provision to fund this viability gap on the development through its Town Centre Investment Fund (TCIF), adding that: "Should a private sector development partner be secured the TCIF balance of funding will be released back to support wider town centre investment."

The Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Chris Read, said: “The use of a Compulsory Purchase Order is not something the Council takes lightly, but in this case the buildings have stood empty for far too long. If we continue to be unable to make progress with the owners, it is justified to support the continued transformation of Rotherham town centre.

“The current burnt-out buildings are situated in a prominent position in the town centre which, when redeveloped, will provide residents and visitors with a welcoming first view into Rotherham and new amenities.”

Images: AHR / RMBC / Google Maps


Anonymous,  June 13, 2023 at 2:51 PM  

£3.2m has been set as the budget for this. What's the bets, the landowner is asking for in the region of £3m? (And what's the bets the Council will pay it?)

Anonymous,  June 13, 2023 at 3:36 PM  

If ever there was needed a perfect example of Rotherham Council inertia ineptitude, procrastination and general incompetence, look no further.

Anonymous,  June 13, 2023 at 6:36 PM  

Hard to believe nothing as been done about this in the last 20 years..... inept council.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 8:16 AM  

Welcome to the dump called Rotherham.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 8:26 AM  

Another eyesore to welcome visitors into town

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 11:44 AM  

Little can be done now,if owner as left the property to someone in a will,council will have to deal with new owner, hopefully they may be more cooperative than previous now deceased owner.

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 1:11 PM  

Another low rise scheme as per other town centre developments, If this is a gateway to Rotherham then why not build something higher with colour to make it eye-catching, Nothing of any significance is being built in this town only low rise flats that do not do the Riverside justice

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 3:32 PM  

Said self same many times,scared of building high, surprised they get owt passed higher than bungalows 😁

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 4:04 PM  

Why don't you take a day off from your high-rise fixation. You are really really boring

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 6:08 PM  

When I was a child we lived in a high rise slum in the East End. Those slums are still there today. Have you not been watching the news?

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 8:28 PM  

Total dereliction of duty by the council 20 years of inaction still it is no more than we have come to expect we get the council we deserve

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 10:43 PM  

And when the lift was broken it was a right trek from the 31st floor down to the outside toilet

Anonymous,  June 14, 2023 at 11:10 PM  

They do love a good insurance claim these burnt out restaurants

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 11:32 AM  

Take a look at quality appartments being built in likes of Salford,and virtually every town lucky enough to have a riverside area,they're not building houses and bungalows,seems Rotherham as huge amounts of greenfield land to concrete over.

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 2:10 PM  

I know those buildings have been in a sorry state for a long time, but genuinely surprised to learn how long they've been like that. It sums up everything that's wrong with Rotherham, and the blame must be squarely placed with our completely feckless council.

Anonymous,  June 15, 2023 at 7:10 PM  

I don't think anyone could argue with that assessment. Just a sorry shambles

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 1:45 AM  

Like all other council departments, planning's performance is assessed by a committee of elected politicians who could not find their backsides with. a shovel

Anonymous,  June 16, 2023 at 7:07 AM  

In a way I hope the buildings stay that way for the rest of my lifetime. Rotherham just wouldn't be the same without the lingering smell of charred rafters.

Anonymous,  June 20, 2023 at 2:47 PM  

They can’t knock the envy building down because somebody parks their car underneath to save paying for carparking all week

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