COMPULSORY purchase options are back on the agenda for Corporation Street’s burned-out buildings after planning permission for a hotel expired.
Applicants Rothgen Ltd were given approval for a 69-bed hotel, restaurant and shop in August 2019 — with a condition that the charred remains of nightclub Envy and restaurants Muskaan and Kyber Pass be demolished within a year.
This deadline was extended because of a government act brought in to help developers through the pandemic — but this has now expired.
Towns Fund cash will be spent on Corporation Street — but a compulsory purchase order might be needed to get rid of the eyesore buildings.
“I think we are very much back on the CPO route,” said council leader Cllr Chris Read. “That stretch of the town centre is part of the town’s fund project.
“We are all desperate to see those burnt out buildings replaced with something that’s rather more appealing.”
The nightclub and diners were destroyed by fires between 2005 and 2011. Their continued presence has been a major bugbear of town centre visitors.
Cllr Read said: “It’s embarrassing that these buildings are at a gateway into Rotherham town centre as you come from the railway station.
“We haven’t got a developed plan at this stage. In the short-term, the area could create some useful car parking and cycle spaces.
“I suspect, longer term, residential units could work well, especially if the Mecca bingo plans go through.
“Another option would be the restaurant or cafe bar route, supporting Forge Island, but that would need a private operator to come in.”