It has been revealed that as part of their plans to regeneration, Rotherham Council has agreed to acquire the former Rotherham Magistrates Court building.
The intention to acquire the site from Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunal Service was approved on the 13th March by the authority’s cabinet. The opportunity to buy the building was too good to miss after the current plans in order to develop the area adjacent, Forge Island.
Cllr. Denise Lelliott is the Rotherham Council Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy and has suggested that purchasing the Rotherham Magistrates Court building will greatly help the plans to redevelop the area. The courts were closing, and acquiring the building was a brilliant opportunity to further develop that part of the town. The old courts building could be used for a variety different roles, and through the redevelopment has the ability to construct facilities for several alternative but complimentary purposes.
The building was transferred for Rotherham Council to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service in 2001. This transition occurred when the HMCTS was formed. However, the Magistrates Court Service stopped opening last year, and since then the property has been vacant. Through this acquisition, the Council have had the opportunity to expand their development plans, and the HMCTS has been able to release a building it no longer uses.
The agreement between the HMCTS and Rotherham Council has followed the previous purchase of Forge Island. This area was the primary site for the redevelopment plans in the area, and the Council managed to acquire the site from Tesco. More detailed plans for the development are being prepared, this will be proposed alongside the larger masterplan for the town. Initial drafts of the plans are expected in April. Forge Island is a vital part of the towns masterplan for regeneration, which could see the production of new jobs as well as providing space for new businesses and housing within the Rotherham area.