Town Centre development moves another step closer

Published Tuesday, 15th November 2016
Riverside Precinct
Cllr Denise Lelliott and Damien Wilson in Riverside Precinct

Rotherham Council has moved one step closer to its plans to regenerate Forge Island by agreeing to buy out the remaining long leases on the units on one of the key routes into the site.

The decision to purchase the leases on properties in Riverside Precinct, which sits between Minster Gardens and Forge Island, was made at Rotherham Council’s Cabinet and Commissioner’s Decision Making meeting this week.

Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said acquiring the four units would assist in the redevelopment of Forge Island and deliver wider town centre regeneration.

She said: "A number of tenants in the Precinct have already moved on to other locations in the town and only a few traders remain. Acquiring this site will enable the council to push ahead with its plans to develop this area of the town centre.

"Forge Island is a major feature in the town and its potential is already attracting a lot of interest from investors. We are confident that this development will help to revitalise the surrounding areas, not least the Precinct and beyond for the benefit of residents and visitors."

Rotherham Council is hoping to agree a purchase for Forge Island with Tesco before the end of the year, with demolition to start in December.

Plans for the site were considered earlier this year as part of the Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document. A number of roadshows were undertaken across the borough with residents saying they wanted a ‘thriving and welcoming town centre’ with ‘plenty to do day and night.’

Plans for the Forge Island site include a vibrant leisure quarter comprising a mix of residential units and leisure developments, which complement the existing retail quarter.

Detailed development proposals for the site continue to be prepared alongside the town centre masterplan.