Proposals for new community building at Wickersley gardens
The site opened as a therapeutic sensory space in 2005 and has been run by Wickersley Parish Council since 2016.
Plans submitted by the parish council say existing buildings on the near one-acre former water treatment site on Second Lane.
The papers sent to Rotherham Council say: “Winthrop Gardens would like to build a new multi-functional space to bring all of the visitor spaces together, eg the cafe, toilets, outdoor seating, curiosity corner, and to repurpose the rest of the site in support of the continued care and development of the community gardens, with planting, greenhouses, tool storage, and plant sales.
“The building will be located behind the existing atrium and will be partially built into the landscape to limit its impact upon the openness of the greenbelt.
“Furthermore, the removal of the existing structures dotted about the site and replacing these with soft landscaping will improve the view from the greenbelt.”
The gardens and tea room have more than 70 volunteers, and has a regular memory cafe to support people living with dementia.
“Winthrop offers a safe place for many vulnerable members of our local community, a social space for others,” said one volunteer.
“It’s a place to volunteer and feel valued, a place to get a meal at a reasonable price and a place where groups come to meet, socialise, hold meetings, carry out craft activities, walks and talks on many different matters.
“The buildings and equipment are now past their best and a new Winthrop would be safer, healthier and more enjoyable for all who visit and work there.
“A team of app 70 committed volunteers and the hundreds of visitors speaks for itself.”
Twenty letters of support for the proposals have been sent in so far. The plans will be decided by RMBC at a date to be fixed.