Rotherham NYS Pano 5
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Member Article

Rotherham looking for a developer to say YES!

Rotherham council is seeking a new development partner for the much-delayed YES! Project in a bid to resurrect what would be Europe’s largest indoor leisure scheme.

The £350m project, which includes an indoor ski slope, parachuting centre and diving complex, has been on the table since 2003, but has so far failed to get off the ground.

The local council is now seeking a new development partner for the scheme, which also includes two hotels, a health spa, conference centre, exhibition centre and restaurants and retail outlets. The development covers 333.5 acres and the council is seeking development partners to submit applications by 8 May.

Original developer Oak Holdings entered into a preferred developer agreement with Rotherham council in May 2003 and the agreement was signed in August 2008. Outline planning approval was granted in 2007 and updated plans for outline planning were approved in September 2010.

However, the agreement was terminated by the council due to Oak’s “material lack of progress”. Oak pointed to the global financial crisis and depressed property markets as reasons why it had been unable to secure the funds needed to start the development phase.

Oak Holdings, which has since been renamed Pires Investments, posted losses of £1.8m for the year ending 31 October 2011. The loss included selling land bought for more than £1m that was due to be used as access to the A57 for the YES! Project.

The group said at the time the land had “little value above the bare agricultural value at which it is being sold back to the vendor”.

Following the losses and cancellation of its deal with Rotherham, Oak entered a company voluntary arrangement and sold its remaining assets.

The council then selected new preferred developers in August 2011, China Vision and regeneration specialist MCD Developments, but the fresh search for a development partner suggests this deal has not progressed.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Robert Beaumont .

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