Go ahead given to purchase former Tesco site

Published Wednesday, 12th October 2016
Forge Island site
Forge Island site

Rotherham Council has been given the green light to buy Forge Island from Tesco and prepare it for investment.

The decision 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 the agreement was a key decision for the development of the town centre, with several developers already showing an interest in the island site.

She said: “Forge Island is a major feature in the town centre regeneration. Private investment flows into a town centre where there is development certainty and where projects can be seen to be viable. We are confident that this development will act as a catalyst to other development in the area and will help to regenerate surrounding areas.”

The 4.2-acre site sits between the River Don and the South Yorkshire Navigation Canal, and was originally named after the Walker brothers leased the site for their water-powered forge.

The site became vacant in November 2014 when Tesco relocated to a new store on Drummond Street and is currently in temporary use as a car park operated by the Council.

Rotherham Council now hopes to agree a purchase with Tesco in November, 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 will now be prepared alongside the town centre masterplan.