Housing plan for car park subsidised with council cash

On the move: York Road car park could go to make way for 'innovative' new homes
On the move: York Road car park could go to make way for 'innovative' new homes

An under-used car park on the edge of Rotherham town centre could be redeveloped for housing if senior councillors approve plans to find a partner organisation to put up to 30 homes on the site.

Rotherham Council’s ruling Cabinet will be asked to approve a move forwards which would allow prospective developers to submit a package of plans to include both buying the York Road site and how they would develop it.

If the scheme wins council approval, it is anticipated the site will be marketed early next year, with a decision made on which developer to sign up as a partner in the Spring.

Some market testing has already been done, generating six responses which the council describes as “a healthy appetite for the scheme”.

Although the car park currently generates around £3,500 a year from parking and rent for garages on short term leases, it incurs £6,000 in business rates, meaning the council is subsidising the site by £2,500 per year.

It is anticipated there would be no more than 30 new homes created, with the council looking for an “innovative housing solution in terms of design and energy efficiency”.

Under the anticipated deal, it is expected the land will be sold to the successful developer, bringing in money for the authority.

The land has been valued, though that information remains confidential, but the ultimate sale price will be determined by whatever bids developers are willing to make.

It is expected councillors will be asked to approve the successful developer in April next year, with the responses they make to the council’s development brief being assessed on the basis of the “most economically advantageous”.