Rose Garden Cafe Updates

The Rose Garden Café in Graves Park was closed on 27 July 2022 following a structural survey highlighting concerns about the building’s structural stability. This page will be used to hold all the information related to this matter, including copies of the reports regarding the condition of the building, questions we have been asked about the building and park (including Freedom of Information requests).

We are committed to featuring a café in the park long term. No decision has been made regarding the future of the Rose Garden Café building and we will work in partnership with the community on this. We are gathering the relevant information and costs for every option and we will keep people up to date as the matter progresses. When further decisions are required, they will be taken through formal Committee routes.

Local Listing

On September 18 2023 the Rose Garden Café was added to the South Yorkshire Local Heritage list. To become locally listed an asset is nominated by a member of the public, who considers the asset to be of local importance.

The nomination is reviewed by an assessment panel who make a recommendation to the Head of Planning for approval. Local listing provides no additional planning controls but recognises the local importance of a heritage asset which Local Planning Authorities should take account of.

Stage 1 Options Report and Cost Detail

The purpose of the Stage 1 Options Report is to update on the findings of the feasibility study against the 5 options approved at Charity Sub-Committee. The information presented in the Stage 1 Options Report focusses on building solutions and associated costs. The cost information is feasibility only and several assumptions have been made, details of which can be found within the Stage 1 Options Appraisal Costs.

Survey findings

The structural surveys from 2022 showed the tilt of the front wall as an area of concern. They also recommended further, more intrusive surveys to form part of the Options Appraisal report for the Rose Garden Café. This report will present high-level designs and costings agreed by the Charity Sub-Committee (as a charitable site, this committee handles Council decisions about Graves Park).

The surveys we have commissioned have now been completed and we have included a summary of each of these below. We will upload PDFs of the original survey documents shortly.

The main concerns include:

  • the tilt of the front wall
  • the depth and bearing ability of the front wall foundations
  • the early stages of insect infestation within the internal timber

The next stage of the process is to develop costings for the future of the Rose Garden Café. There will also be a full public consultation in the coming months, to ensure we capture the views and opinions of all park users and stakeholders.

    Summary of completed surveys

    Structural survey

    The original structural survey highlighted the following:

    "5.8.    To provide a more informed opinion of the structural issues we would recommend:

    • a measured survey of the façade to accurately plot the position of the façade and allow a structural assessment of this lean to be carried out, such as undertaking a point cloud survey (tilt survey)
    • determine wall construction and thickness and foundation to front wall
    • providing access to allow close up inspection of the condition of the roof trusses in the ceiling space and the truss bearings.  This could involve removing roof coverings locally.  Our CDS report also refers to evidence of pigeon entry to the roof space
    • carry out specialist timber and damp survey of the roof structure."

    Additional comments:

    • roof structure showed some deflection around the clock tower. The purlins are orientated quite flat as opposed to upright. This would probably not comply with current structural codes, but they appear to be operating as originally designed
    • there are splits, shakes and rusting in the roof structure which is as expected for a timber building of this age

    Timber survey

    To establish the condition of the timber roof structure.

    • results show no damp penetration, but highlight rotting of external timbers and early stages of insect infestation to internal timbers
    • where access was not possible, this was due to the additional crawl boards installed in the roof space. These were required for surveyors to work safely

    Tilt survey (Point Cloud)

    To establish the amount the front wall is leaning.

    • the tilt survey has highlighted an approximate 2 degree lean on the front wall. In some areas, the top of the front wall overhangs the bottom by approximately 200mm

    Trial pit survey

    To establish the amount of the distortion on the foundations under the front columns.

    • the front wall has shallow foundations of between 400 to 450mm and is located within 'made ground' ie ground that has been added during the construction of the building and therefore not as compacted as original ground would usually be

    Window ground investigation

    To establish ground conditions for the replacement of the front elevation.

    • results showed competent siltstone at a depth of 1m. This is suitable for any front wall rebuild or underpinning of foundations.

    Drain survey

    To feed into project costs, as blockage of these drains has been a repeated issue.

    No major concerns were highlighted. Repairs to be completed include:

    • 3 instances of radial cracks to be structurally patch-line repaired
    • 1 instance of root intrusion to be structurally patch-line repaired
    • 2 instances of high-pressure jet / vac cleaning recommended

    Radar survey (flat roof)

    A non-intrusive survey to establish the structural integrity of the flat roof.

    • no issues highlighted. Roof is approximately 170mm deep concrete with 2 layers of lower bars

    Condition Reports

    Surveys are undertaken across our estate to enable us to better understand the building condition and prioritise works in line with available funding.

    Report 1 was undertaken in October 2018 and Report 2 undertaken in July 2022. Reports 1 and 2 specifically refer to block 9 Rose Garden Café and are extracts from a larger report covering all the buildings within the park. The full reports are available upon request.

    Feasibility Study - Structural Inspection

    We commissioned a feasibility study and cost report to consider improvements to the café entrance and as part of the feasibility study a structural appraisal was undertaken.

    Sheffield City Council Structural Inspection

    The purpose of the inspection was to formally record the considerations when deciding it was necessary to temporarily close Rose Garden Café for structural safety reasons.

    Independent Structural Inspection

    The purpose of the inspection was to seek a second independent opinion via an external structural engineering inspection following the decision to temporarily close the café.

    Responses to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Requests

    Published responses to Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Requests relating to the Rose Garden Café can be found on our Open Data Arc GIS site.

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