Planning success for major town centre building

Published Monday, 15th January 2018
Planning success for major town centre building
Planning success for major town centre building

Rotherham Council has this week approved plans to re-develop a prominent town-centre building.

Westgate Chambers on Main Street is now set to be brought back into wholesale use with retail, leisure and residential units.

The complex includes six buildings which surround an enclosed courtyard, with part of the site Grade 2 listed. Known by many as the former Co-op buildings, they were originally constructed in 1794 by local architect John Platt as a residence for himself.

Rotherham Council agreed to sell the complex to Peter Hill, Director of HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd in 2014.

The site sits adjacent to Forge Island which has been identified for major development in the town centre Masterplan, with plans for a cinema, hotel, and eateries. The site also encompasses the recently refurbished 1915 Bar and Bistro, which remains separate to the redevelopment.

Two unlisted buildings on Domine Lane are set to be demolished as part of the plans - a late nineteenth century brick built two-storey building and a three-story 1960s office building, which are both in a dilapidated state. These will be replaced with a single building incorporating 32 apartments with integral balconies or roof terraces, and retail space.

The existing courtyard entrance will be moved to the bottom of the street, which will potentially allow the Council to pedestrianise Domine Lane as detailed in the Town Centre Masterplan.

Further buildings will be renovated, each with their own individual character, providing retail, leisure and hospitality space at ground floor, with a further 29 apartments above.

New frontages will mirror the heritage-led regeneration of the nearby High Street, with part of the building having its Georgian façade reinstated with staggered roof terraces.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said: “One of the Council’s key priorities is to help local people and businesses benefit from a growing economy, with a thriving town centre and more people living, working and spending their leisure time here.

“We are already seeing new developments in the town centre – including housing developments on Ship Hill and High Street, a new bar within Westgate Chambers, and restaurant close by – and these developments reflect the growing confidence investors have with our Town Centre regeneration plans.”

Peter Hill, Director of HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd, said: “These are exciting times ahead for all concerned with this prestigious scheme. We now look forward to it moving forward with the additional regeneration of Rotherham town centre, bringing in new restaurants, entertainment and leisure facilities to help new residents to live, work, rest and play within the town centre and most important of all creating new town centre jobs.”

In addition to the Forge Island Development, the town entre Masterplan identifies a new University Centre, and a large increase in the residential offer, including a target of 1,000 new homes for the town centre by 2025. Rotherham’s Growth Plan also includes a target of 30,000 new homes for the borough by 2030.