‘Council boss broke his word on Baths site’

A CAMPAIGNER against a housing development on the former Rawmarsh Baths site has accused Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone of breaking his word over the use of the land.

Ted Frost, 86, of High Street, told the Times he had minutes from a Rawmarsh Hall sub-group meeting of August 12, 2004, in which Coun Stone said the land was “being held in the Land Bank until the community had formalised plans for the site”.

The land has now been earmarked by the council for the building of 16 properties – but Mr Frost and fellow campaigner Don Bird have now demanded its sale be put on hold.

The campaigners insist a covenant from 1925 restricts the site to “community use”, after it was given to the people by Earl Fitzwilliam. They hoped for a public garden and war memorial.

The aim of the Rawmarsh Hall subgroup was to develop the site as a garden, but planners have said its future use for the community was no longer viable as there were already adequate facilities.

Mr Frost said: “The council is desperate for money. But this land was promised to us, and I shall fight for it as long as I draw breath”.

A spokeswoman for the council said no-one had broken their word about the site, adding: “It is clear from council minutes that the Rawmarsh and Parkgate Partnership was given the opportunity to lease part of the land in 2004, and develop it as a community garden.

“However, this never happened and so seven years later, the council is taking steps to sell the land. The purchaser will be required to develop part of the site as a community garden, in accordance with the partnership’s wishes.”