Annual Monitoring Report

Key Projects

  1. The AMR is a convenient means of pulling out emerging issues on projects which will have a bearing on the Local Plan and the future monitoring framework. There are several key projects which, due to their large scale and potential impact, are mentioned in more detail here:

Waverley

  1. Planning permission has been granted for a sustainable mixed use community with significant housing provision at the former open-cast mining site at Waverley (a major previously developed site), and development is now well under way. At the end of March 2022 approximately 1,327 dwellings had been completed on the site with a further 235 under construction. The planning permission is for 3,890 new dwellings, and it is currently estimated that 900 dwellings will be delivered in the remaining Plan period to 2028.
  2. During the last year, the Council has undertaken further research and forensic examination of completions of all parcels at Waverley, the commitments remaining and, has assessed the actual supply of new dwellings against those anticipated at the time of the original grant of outline planning permission. The completions achieved have also been assessed against the signed S106 Planning Obligation and any variations to that S106 planning obligation. Work continues to further understand the implications of not achieving the full capacity of this site, as originally permitted.
  3. Discussions are ongoing with the landowner Harworth Estates, the Council recognises the anticipated 3,890 dwellings originally permitted, cannot be achieved on site. Planning Permissions are being sought for residential windfall sites outwith the original planning permission for Waverley New Community. Significant improvements to public transport are essential. Measures to mitigate congestion on the Parkway and M1 Junction 33 were completed in November 2022, to sustain the managed release of housing land

Rotherham Town Centre

  1. The Strategic Development Framework, produced in 2005, set out a masterplan for Rotherham town centre with a broad 25-year vision and 10 key goals. This was refreshed with the adoption in July 2016 of the Rotherham Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document, which reviewed progress to date and set out an up-to-date vision for the town centre and key moves required to achieve this. This was supplemented by a Masterplan (September 2017) which considers how the plans and aspirations for the town centre can be implemented, taking account of the viability and deliverability of proposals, in order to turn the vision and plans into reality.
  2. The Council has demonstrated its commitment to proactive regeneration by:
    • Securing a development partner (Muse Developments Ltd) to deliver a mixed-use leisure quarter including an 8-screen cinema and a 69-room hotel complemented by restaurants, bars and public spaces on Forge Island and the adjoining former magistrates' court site. Phase one is now complete and Phase two is currently underway.
    • Planning applications have now submitted for the development of Riverside Garden and Rotherham Markets. Helping to deliver new housing developments in the town centre and at Westgate.
    • Seeking funding opportunities to help deliver public realm and townscape improvements.

The Council monitors Rotherham Town centre on a quarterly basis, recording the use class of each unit within both the centre and Primary and Secondary Shopping Frontages. The rate of vacant units and floorspace is also recorded and monitored for any changes. In addition to various lockdowns closing businesses temporarily, several businesses went into administration, both factors shrinking the retail sector nationally. In Rotherham, easy access to the Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield and Parkgate Retail Park outside Rotherham Town Centre has caused a long decline in the retail sector. All these factors are reflected in Rotherham’s vacancy figures which have not recovered from pre-Covid rates.

In 2022, some of national retail companies, Boots, Wilko and Shoe Zone, have closed their stores in Rotherham Town Centre. The last recorded vacancy rate pre-Covid in September 2019, where 24% of units and 17% of floorspace was vacant. During the period July 2020-October 2021, the highest vacancy rate during this period was 31.4% in September 2020. The latest figure from October 2021 is 28.3%, with 25.0% of floorspace being vacant. These figures are above the vacancy rate required for a healthy and competitive town centre.

Rotherham Town Centre is currently undergoing significant regeneration, in particular the leisure development nearby at Forge Island, Corporation Street and Eastwood Lane. This raises concern that the vacancy rate recorded does not demonstrate a true picture of the current strength of the retail sector in Rotherham.

The Council records the same data for the other Town and District Centres (as defined in the Local Plan). The vacancy floorspace data for each centre is shown in the table below.

Rotherham Town Centre

Floorspace

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Total

63740

64192

62000

60442

60863

 

Vacant

12176

13715

15823

14910

17045

 

% Vacant

19.1

21.4

25.5

26.0

28.0

Dinnington Town Centre

Total

18097

18030

18030

18030

18030

 

Vacant

1866

1724

2481

2158

3244

 

% Vacant

10.31

9.56

13.76

11.97

18.0

Kiveton Park District Centre

Total

4962

4942

4942

4942

4942

 

Vacant

277

204

166

97

97

 

% Vacant

5.58

4.13

3.36

1.96

1.96

Maltby Town Centre

Total

10239

10297

10297

10297

10297

 

Vacant

580

500

655

945

1559

 

% Vacant

5.67

4.86

6.36

9.17

15.14

Parkgate District Centre

Total

13404

13404

13404

13404

13404

 

Vacant

2246

1302

1126

1288

1443

 

% Vacant

16.76

9.71

8.40

9.61

10.76

Swallownest District Centre

Total

6361

6361

6361

6361

6361

 

Vacant

139

186

402

105

105

 

% Vacant

2.19

2.92

6.32

1.65

1.65

Swinton District Centre

Total

6801

6801

6801

6801

6801

 

Vacant

367

276

247

308

760

 

% Vacant

5.40

4.06

3.63

4.53

11.17

Wath Town Centre

Total

18893

18893

18893

18893

18893

 

Vacant

902

982

1534

666

671

 

% Vacant

4.77

5.20

8.12

3.53

3.55

Wickersley District Centre

Total

8776

8776

8776

8776

8776

 

Vacant

612

693

867

727

119

 

% Vacant

6.98

7.90

9.88

8.2

1.35

Bassingthorpe Farm

  1. Bassingthorpe Farm will provide a sustainable urban extension for the wider Rotherham Urban Area in accord with its status as a Strategic Allocation in the adopted Core Strategy (2014). It is anticipated that Bassingthorpe Farm will provide around 2,400 new homes, however delivery of new homes will go beyond this Plan period (up to 2028) into the next. It is anticipated to take twenty years to build out this new community. The strategic allocation also provides for around 10 hectares of employment land together with associated strategic infrastructure, including contributions to local schools and provision of a new primary school on site in the second phase of development.
  2. Further studies will be prepared to guide the submission of any forthcoming outline planning application. The Bassingthorpe Farm strategic allocation is shown as an “inset” boundary on the Policies Map that accompanies the Sites and Policies document, and reference should be made to the Core Strategy Policy CS1 for more details regarding the delivery of this strategic allocation. Site Development Guidelines are included within the adopted Sites and Policies Local Plan (2018).