Approval for flats plan at historic Rotherham pub

A prominent former pub on the edge of Rotherham town centre that has stood vacant for a number of years looks set to brought back into use after plans were approved for its conversion.

Rothbiz reported in March that a planning application had been submitted for the former Wellington Boot on Westgate that would see the large building converted into nine apartments.

Most recently used as Get Sorted Academy of Music, a charity that used music to build up self-esteem, improve grades and develop social skills in young people, the building has been vacant since the charity closed the venue in 2017.

Plans came forward by LNA Interiors of Beighton (a company that has since gone into liquidation), showing that the three storeys, plus basement and outbuildings, could be converted into five 1-bed flats and four 2-bed flats – eight in the main building and a self-contained dwelling in the outbuilding.

Last year the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said that “following the sale of the former “Get Sorted Academy of Music” building on Westgate, which was gifted back to the Trust when the charity closed, the proceeds are being invested back into Rotherham” and grants of up to £2,000 were made available to help organisations support those in crisis. The scheme is due to run until 2024.

Following discussions with planners at Rotherham Council the plans have been ammended and a proposed basement apartment with windows opening onto light wells beneath the pavement on Wilfrid Street has been removed “as it was considered that there was insufficient natural light and outlook for future residents of this property.”

The building is not listed, unlike the Cutler’s Arms over the road, but sits within the town centre conservation area. The new proposals state that any external alterations will be limited. For example, a number of bricked up windows would be re-opened and the majority of the existing timber windows would be retained and made good.


A heritage statement submitted with the plans from Thompson Heritage Consultancy, explains that: “52 Westgate was built in 1903 as “The Wellington Inn Free House”. The Arts and Crafts movement (circa 1860 – 1925) sought to create attractive buildings with details of fine craftsmanship to counteract the grim industrialisation of the 19th century.

A report from the planners confirms: “The overall external appearance of the building would be little changed from its existing appearance and the conversion would allow the original use of the building, as a public house, to be easily read.”

South Yorkshire Archaeology Service raised concerns about the loss of any historic interiors of the building, relating to its original use as a public house. However, an internal inspection confirmed that the building has been entirely gutted and taken back to the brick.

The plans include cycle lockers but no on site parking, which is considered acceptable due to the town centre location. The same reason applies to the lack of outdoor amenity space at the site.

Two units are slightly smaller than residential design guides suggest but planners consider this to be “acceptable in this instance as the layout of the building would make conversion to larger units difficult.”

The Council’s Environmental Health Officer also raised concerns about potential noise from Westgate and existing uses on Westgate such as public houses and other businesses. As such, they recommend an internal ventilation system be installed, which would allow future residents to suitably ventilate their homes without the need for opening windows. A condition is attached to the planning permission requiring that this recommendation is carried out.

Planners conclude: “The proposed conversion and alterations to this building are acceptable in design terms and would preserve the character and appearance of the Rotherham Town Centre Conservation Area. Furthermore, the proposal, subject to conditions will provide sufficient amenity for future residents.”

Images: Google Maps

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