Sheffield skyline to change

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The Sheffield skyline is set to change as a result of the go-ahead this week for two major developments.

Council permission was granted to convert the former Fitzalan Square post office into a college for overseas students, adding twin towers, of 22 and 14 storeys, at the Pond Street end of the site, facing the bus station.

Meanwhile, a ten storey office block with two shops or offices at ground level can be built at the corner of Charles Street and Norfolk Street, completing a row of three St Paul’s office blocks and the £130m Heart of the City programme.

The council go-ahead for the Fitzalan Square development - due to be ready by September 2016 - comes 14 years after the post office was relocated.

The listed building is due to be used for teaching accommodation, while the twin towers would provide homes for up to 279 students. It is intended to create

shops, cafes and bars between the former post office and the towers.

One of the spin-offs will be a proposed revamp of Fitzalan Square, which has become rundown over the years. One of the conditions of planning permission is that the developers contribute £210,000 towards improving the surrounding environment.

A council report says the reuse of old post office is “long overdue, and the proposed conversion to educational use is considered a most suitable option, particularly given the proximity to the Sheffield Hallam University campus. The commercial units in the scheme provide a welcome opportunity to introduce more supporting activity on Fitzalan Square, Flat Street and Pond Street.”

The proposed development, which reflects the growing number of international students in Sheffield, is backed by London-based regeneration specialists Langland Developments, working with Sheffield-based Axis Architecture.