Another delay in ‘pocket park’ plan

CONTINUED construction challenges have been blamed for pushing the “pocket park” plan on Rotherham’s former Primark site into a third year.

An initial target completion date of September 2021 was put back to spring this year, after which RMBC said it hoped it would be completed in time for the Women’s Euros.

But now the council says work will start before the end of 2022.

RMBC bought the site three years after Primark’s 2017 departure to Parkgate Shopping.

The overall project has been forecast to cost about £3 million, with the council using £1 million from a government fund called the Town Deal Accelerator.

Simon Moss, Rotherham Council’s assistant director for planning, regeneration and environment, said: “The council is currently in the process of preparing design works to deliver a pocket park on the High Street.

“Although we have faced continuing challenges with the current construction market, works are scheduled to commence later this year.

“The delivery of this scheme remains a priority within the council’s extensive regeneration programme for the town centre, and we are working closely with the contractor to provide a space suitable for a wide range of recreational uses maximise the park’s potential.”

Andy Jeffries, senior project manager at contractors Galliford Try, added: “Working with Rotherham Council, we are collaboratively developing the detailed design, supported by Waterman Group for the Snail Yard pocket park.

“Despite continuing challenging construction markets, the detailed design revisions posed by the remnants of the demolished retail store including works to the partially demolished walls to Snail Hill to improve public safety, and improvement and stability works to the perimeter walls, are progressing.

“In tandem co-ordination with utility companies to provide suitable supplies to allow a wide range of social uses that will realise the parks potential and social benefits to the public are ongoing.

“Working together to deliver the park, we are targeting design completion and confident to commence construction in 2022.”