Sheffield site’s £35m revamp faces refusal

views from Ecclesall road

views from Ecclesall road

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A £35 million proposal to redevelop a former car dealership on Ecclesall Road with apartments, student flats and shops has been recommended for refusal.

The development, planned for the site of the old Vauxhall showroom between Summerfield Street and Pear Street, was set to feature four blocks, one 12 storeys high, offering over 2,000 sq m of retail space, 130 residential apartments and accommodation for more than 200 students.

But in a report to a meeting of Sheffield Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, officers said the scheme would be too big for the surrounding area, and that it could harm the prospect of redeveloping the neighbouring land, currently used as a car wash.

“Despite the quality of the individual elements of the development, the relationship to the surrounding context is considered unacceptable,” officers said.

“The 12-storey block is completely out of scale with its immediate surroundings and is considered inappropriate in this location.”

They added: “Furthermore the proposals borrow amenity from the adjoining car wash site. The arrangement will affect the ability to redevelop that site on a major route into and out of the city centre.”

Almost 20 objections were received, many from people calling for the proposals to be scaled down. One resident said the designs had been taken ‘a step too far’. “It’s far too tall - Ecclesall Road does not need high-rise developments, keep them in the city centre instead,” they said.

Concerns were also raised on traffic and pollution grounds. The Broomhall Park Association and Coun Aodan Marken, Green Party councillor for the Broomhill ward, also objected.

When the plans were submitted earlier this year, Dan Simpson from developer Hallminster, said the project would be ‘visually striking’ and it would bring the stretch of Ecclesall Road ‘alive’.

Three hundreds jobs would be created during construction, with more than 100 at the completed site.

“It is acknowledged that the development does bring significant benefits,” said planning officers.

However, they said ‘very significant weight’ was being given to the concerns raised, ‘given the potential to deliver an alternative scheme that generally achieves the planning objectives without any evidence that viability would be unacceptably compromised’.