Monday, 19 April 1999

East End Regeneration: Good News?

Redevelopment in the Lower Don Valley, on both sides of the motorway, is carrying on in the absence of a sustainable regeneration strategy but that situation might be about to change.

Opening soon
Valley Centertainment, Broughton Lane (opposite Arena): 20 screen cinema, bowling, night club, drive through Burger King, etc.  600 jobs; new tram stop; 1100 car parking spaces.
Carland car sales, Airport Business Park: 500 cars for sale.

Work starting soon
UK Institute of Sport (various sites around and including Don Valley and Woodbourn Road stadia): 1000 jobs; 300 people athletes’ village.

Other proposals
Many, but some of the biggest are:
  • Magna Centre, Templebrough, Rotherham: steel industry heritage scheme. 500,000-900,000 visitors a year; planning permission approved.
  • Football World, Meadowhall coach park/cooling towers site: 350,000-800,000 visitors a year/ 6 soccer pitches; no progress on planning application because of doubts over viability.
  • Asda, Carbrook Street/Weedon Street (Meadowhall overspill car park): a few hundred yards from Sainsburys.  600 staff; 960 car parking spaces; planning decision January 1999
Magnaline
Mainly public transport route from Rotherham to Meadowhall on existing roads until Tinsley.  Then a new road, known as Magnalink, providing access to vacant sites before going under the M1 to Meadowhall.  Sheffield Council agreed to a funding bid providing Magnalink was the subject of public consultation and was for buses, cycles and pedestrians only into Meadowhall.  Consultation has been so badly mishandled (not by the Council), that they have deferred the bid for the Sheffield element until proper consultation and feasibility can be carried out next year.

Some? good news
Funding for the Tinsley Community Health and Transport Project has been extended for a year.   (FoE on the steering group.)  This is good news.  Neil Parry, the project worker, is campaigning, with active Tinsley residents, to reduce the effects of  too much traffic in the area.

The Council’s environmental action plan for Tinsley is likely to include a reduction in pollutants, mostly caused by road traffic, to meet the Governments Air Quality Standards.  These will have equal status with planning guidance but acceptance by local planners is taking time.  This is a  recurring discussion in the East End Land Use Planning /Air Quality group (FoE Represented).  More formal terms of reference are being drawn up to make this more than a discussion group.

Potentially the best news is that John Prescott, in exchange for paying off the Supertram debt, wants Sheffield to become a Centre of Excellence in implementing the integrated transport white paper.  One of the  projects put forward by the Council is a Regeneration Plan for the Lower Don Valley which includes reducing traffic and car emissions by 10% and reducing incidence of asthma by a third.  This is what we’ve been arguing for in the Air Quality group.

More details from Rob Slow, 18 Badsley Street, Rotherham, S65 2PN. 01709 382478.