Rotherham town centre pocket park plans passed… again

The site, looking down towards High StreetThe site, looking down towards High Street
The site, looking down towards High Street
SCALED-down plans for the Primark pocket park have been approved – two years after the original scheme was meant to be finished.

The former department store building was demolished to make way for a new green space in Rotherham town centre.

Rotherham Council used a government grant to buy the site in late 2020 and it was hoped that the project would be done by autumn the following year.

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Plans to use the completed Snail Yard as a fanzone during the Women’s Euros were shelved as construction was hit by rising inflation and the council decided to cut ties with the original contractors.

Artist's impression of the view looking up from High StreetArtist's impression of the view looking up from High Street
Artist's impression of the view looking up from High Street

There also had to be changes to the proposed food and drink outlets — only allowing hot food on several occasions a year because RMBC had not factored in its rule about takeaways within 800 metres of schools or colleges.

The government cash used by the council – the Town Deal Accelerator – was intended to fund projects which could make a swift improvement to areas.

Rotherham Council’s planners approved the revised plans and a spokesperson said: “The application is seeking permission for a temporary period of five years until a permanent built redevelopment of the site can be brought forward.

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“The proposals include the retention of the Snail Hill pedestrian route which will link the proposed venue to The Crofts and Wellgate beyond.

“Whilst, the proposed use is temporary only, it is considered to deliver on some key town centre masterplan aims of enhancing the leisure economy of the town centre.”

The long-term aim for the land is to develop about 30 apartments.