£25m scheme to provide homes for 600 students next to Hyde Park

Aerial view of Hyde Park flats
Aerial view of Hyde Park flats

Accommodation for more than 600 students is being planned in a development next to Hyde Park flats that could ease the strain on other parts of Sheffield.

Developers believe there is still a demand for purpose-built student homes in the city - and in the latest scheme are focusing on a site off Maltravers Road, at the Wybourn side of Hyde Park.

They are seeking council permission to replace workshops in the Globe II Business Centre and a BT office tower with a complex up to 12 storeys with 641 bedrooms and its own shop, bar, restaurant, gym and laundry.

There would also be a business ‘incubation’ centre for small start-up ventures.

The project, with estimated construction costs of £25m, envisages Sheffield’s big student population spilling into a relatively new area. Much of the purpose built accommodation in recent years has been built on the other side of the city centre, nearer the University of Sheffield.

The Wybourn location is near Park Square roundabout and not far from Sheffield Hallam University. Sheffield-based Axis Architecture are working on the scheme with Forward Realty Ltd, which is based in Singapore.

Architect Leanora Simmonite said the proposed development represents “positive opportunities” for the Wybourn area in terms of broadening the population, introducing student disposable income and creating active street frontages.

“The site represents a fantastic opportunity for redevelopment as it has excellent public transport links via the Supertram, linking students to both Sheffield universities,” she said.

“The use of Sheffield’s most sustainable method of mass transportation is a facility which is missing from some of Sheffield’s larger schemes, such as those around London Road, Ecclesall Road, Broomhill, Ranmoor, Crookes and Walkley, predominantly to the south and west of the city.

“The scheme aims to take the strain away from these areas of the city, which have already reached saturation point in terms of the student population.”

Ms Simmonite said the idea of accommodating students in the east of Sheffield is not without precedent, with homes near the Wybourn site at The Pinnacles (next to Park Square), Old Street and at Norfolk Park.

The Maltravers complex would be a new landmark, highly visible on the hillside, especially from the Parkway.

It is designed to be at its highest next to Hyde Park - about the same height - tapering down to houses on the Wybourn side.

It would be “an important transition point between the monolithic Hyde Park flats and the semi-detached housing of the Wybourn estate”, said Ms Simmonite

Details have been submitted to the council, which will assess the impact on surrounding properties and the roads. Developers continue to look to provide more student accommodation in Sheffield. A total of 128 flats are planned in Portobello Street, near the University of Sheffield. But in recent months, the emphasis has been on accommodation for international students.

The derelict Head Post Office in Fitzalan Square is earmarked for conversion into a college for overseas students as part of a proposed £16m development that includes a neighbouring 18-storey tower of student flats. The scheme is currently under council consideration.

Meanwhile, proposals for a college and accommodation for early 300 international students between Broad Lane and Garden Street, next to the University of Sheffield campus, were approved by councillors earlier this month.