PLANS for a £50 million development of 175 new student flats to house almost 900 people have been approved after the developer agreed to scale down the height of one of the blocks.
Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board voted to approve the scheme - called Manor Mill student village - for the derelict former Gordon Lamb car dealership, at the corner of Napier Street and Summerfield Street, off Ecclesall Road, after the changes were made to make the project more acceptable.
And £1 million will be paid by the developer towards building affordable housing and public improvement works, including a pedestrian crossing in Summerfield Street and improvements to the footpath along Porter Brook, which runs alongside the site.
The plans had attracted 19 objections from surrounding residents, who questioned the need for more student flats when student numbers are falling due to increased tuition fees. Residents also said they would have preferred original plans approved six years ago for non-student apartments.
The amended proposals involve lowering one block from eight to seven storeys to reduce the impact on surrounding buildings, although other blocks will still be up to 10-storeys high.
Council planning officer Chris Heeley said: “The issues about scale and massing have now been resolved, along with concerns over large amounts of extra pedestrian and cycle traffic.”
Jim Lomas, of DLP planning consultants, working for the developer, said: “The scheme will bring £50 million of investment which we believe is a very important, major scheme. We feel we have addressed concerns.”
The Environment Agency raised concerns over the need to develop land deemed vulnerable to flooding, but withdrew its objection after the developer showed there were no suitable alternative sites and provided evidence of expected demand for the new flats.