A £46M scheme for a Tesco superstore, housing and offices in Stocksbridge – creating an estimated 900 jobs – is likely to get a big push next week.
City councillors are preparing to use their compulsory purchase powers to acquire all the land in an attempt to get the project, which includes a link road from Manchester Road to the bypass, moving.
Unless the issue is resolved, it is feared the developers will run out of time to secure European funding and to wrap up a deal with Tesco.
The council has been negotiating with landowners – although some of the ownership is unknown – for several months.
“The owners do appear willing to sell but unfortunately terms have, to date, not been agreed. Negotiations are continuing,” says a report to the council’s cabinet.
However, with time in mind, there is no alternative but to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order, it is argued.
“The council considers that there is a compelling case in the public interest to justify using the compulsory purchase powers because of the important regeneration benefits the redevelopment of the site will deliver to Stocksbridge and the surrounding area,” says the report from the council’s city regeneration division.
The authority is helping Stocksbridge Regeneration Company – a partnership of Dransfield Properties and Gallagher Developments – to deliver the project for the former Outokumpu site.
It includes a 63,000 sq ft Tesco food superstore, other shops, a café/restaurant, offices and up to 140 homes. There would be 680 car parking spaces and the masterplan also envisages a new warehouse and test house for neighbouring Tata Steel.
Sheffield City Council is welcoming the prospect of a “comprehensive regeneration of this currently under-used site at the bottom of the Stocksbridge valley.”
The Tesco superstore would be used by residents who currently travel outside the area for their shopping.
Other benefits, it is argued, include alleviating traffic congestion in Stocksbridge through the opening of a link road to the bypass and the triggering of investment at the Tata steelworks.
The report adds: “Based on average employment density figures, it is estimated that the scheme will provide at least 900 permanent jobs on site, with additional jobs created through the construction and servicing.”
Already planning permission has been granted. But without a CPO, there is “no effective prospect” of securing the regeneration.
Councillors will discuss the situation on Wednesday.