More homes, shops and arts space to boost regeneration

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PLANS have been drawn up to redevelop more of Kelham Island on the edge of Sheffield city centre with housing, shops, commercial and leisure uses and arts space.

Developers say family houses and smaller one and two bedroom houses with gardens would be part of a sustainable mixed use development off Green Lane and Alma Street.

The scheme represents an attempt to revive the momentum of the regeneration of Kelham Island, which has seen the construction of hundreds of apartments next to the River Don in recent years, while the area has established a reputation for its pubs, restaurants and industrial museum.

A large tract of former industrial land is now in the hands of Leeds-based Citu, which has submitted an application for 105 homes for sale as the first phase of a proposed comprehensive development.

It includes the historic Eagle Works, which is due to be retained, although most of the site has already been cleared. Plans to convert another listed building, Green Lane Works, with its landmark clock tower, are scheduled for conversion to housing at a later stage.

For the moment, attention is focusing on the eastern part of the site, near the Fat Cat pub, where Citu is aiming to secure council permission for a sustainable mixed use development.

It is looking for a similar type of project to the Greenhouse mixed use scheme in Leeds, which has won more than 30 regeneration and sustainability awards for a design that minimises the impact on the environment by using renewable energy technologies with bespoke energy monitoring systems and “a sense of community ownership towards sustainability”.

All the one-, two- and three-bedroom housing in Kelham would be low-rise, with basement parking. Some are designed to attract families. Kelham apartments have tended to attract students, single people and couples.

Managing director Chris Thompson said: “Citu feel that Kelham is a fantastic part of Sheffield, with great heritage and strong community. We are very much interested in building on and enhancing the existing community in Kelham into a sustainable scheme.

“If the planners and members support our proposals then we’d aim to start on site in November.

“We hope that Sheffield welcomes an approach to sustainability that represents more than bolt-on renewables and one that challenges the conventional developer approach. We believe that our role as the developer is to design buildings right in the first instance to allow people to reduce their carbon footprint but also to improve their quality of life.”

Leeds-based architects Sturgeon North are telling the council: “The proposals will encourage a sentiment of community and ownership, whilst creating a sense of place to attract people to the riverside, the industrial museum and the wealth of established pubs, restaurants and small businesses within the community.

“Much of the scheme is generated by the brief to provide family homes with their own front doors. We want the streets to have identity so residents have ownership of their dwellings and the spaces beyond.”

Details will be assessed for the way they fit in with the Kelham Island Industrial Conservation Area, although the council can be expected to welcome in principle the prospect of fresh investment in a fringe of the city centre at a time when many projects have stalled because of the recession.