A proposed development of more than 450 student flats alongside retirement apartments and a care home next to Hyde Park flats could be given the go-ahead next week.
Councillors are being advised to approve the project, despite warnings from Hallam University that Sheffield is becoming saturated with student accommodation.
Council officers admit they have concerns - about the height of two blocks of student flats, one up 14 storeys, the other up to ten, which would be built next to the high rise Hyde Park flats. “There are also questions about whether this is the most appropriate location for student housing.”
But officers have concluded that, on balance, the negative aspects of the scheme are outweighed by the benefits of creating a sustainable community in a ‘gateway’ location, replacing an unattractive business park.
The design of the student towers is “bold, colourful and vibrant”.
On Tuesday, they will recommend to councillors that permission is granted for 452 student flats, 29 retirement apartments in a five-storey complex and a 60 bed care home in four storeys on the site of the Globe II Business Centre off Maltravers Road, Wybourn.
When the application was submitted initially by a Singapore-based company, it envisaged 641 student flats alongside a business ‘incubation’ centre for small start-up ventures. Estimated construction costs were £25m.
It prompted a response from Hallam University that there were already more than 20,000 student bed spaces in the city with a vast amount of choice in location, quality and value. The scheme was revised to introduce different types of accommodation for different age groups - but the developers maintain there is still a market for student homes.
And they defend the location, which they say is no further away from universities as existing student accommodation such as Ranmoor and Endcliffe Villages.
“The regeneration benefits for the site and the wider Wybourn area are also argued in the applicant’s submission,” says a council report.
Sheffield-based Axis Architecture are working on the scheme with Forward Realty Ltd.