Hundreds of jobs on way as Sheffield retail park expansion moves closer to approval

Artist's impression of Kilner Way retail park, completed.
Artist's impression of Kilner Way retail park, completed.

A multi-million pound expansion to a Sheffield retail park is to be given the green light next week, potentially bringing hundreds of jobs to the city.

Councillors have been advised to approve plans for Kilner Way retail park, off Halifax Road, Wadsley Bridge, which would include three retail units, smaller shops, a gym and a restaurant. Developers estimate the scheme would create 600 full- and part-time permanent jobs, and almost 200 construction jobs.

Kilner Way retail park

Kilner Way retail park

But the proposal is being opposed by rival developers behind the £42 million Fox Valley development in Stocksbridge, which is already in its first phase of building work.

A spokesman for Stocksbridge Regeneration Company said: “Market feedback is clear that occupiers are considering Kilner Way in the event planning permission is granted there, including as an alternative to Stocksbridge.”

“This will at best delay, and at worst prevent, the completion of important elements of the scheme at Stocksbridge.”

A report by council officers to Sheffield Council’s planning and highways committee suggests the scheme be given the go-ahead subject to legal agreement and referral to the Secretary of State. The committee will meet to decide on the proposal on Tuesday.

The steel frame of Southey today, at Kilner Way retail park, beside Halifax Road.

The steel frame of Southey today, at Kilner Way retail park, beside Halifax Road.

Derwent Construction wants to reconfigure the retail park, which is currently home to stores including Halfords, Argos, Pets at Home and Gala bingo.

An unfinished large steel frame is already up at the site, in connection with previous planning consent granted in 2010. It is intended the structure would be completed and expanded to become the new home for five shops and a gym.

Three other retail units and a new multi-storey car park are also planned, along with space for a new restaurant and splitting an existing unit into two. Consultants Aylward Town Planning have said the scheme could generate up to 600 jobs.

The council report said the changes would result in the retail park’s annual turnover increasing from £15m to more than £50m per year.

It said the majority of the money spent in the new units would come from local people, and should not have a major negative impact on the Stocksbridge scheme.

The Stocksbridge project involves the construction of a Tata Steel warehouse and Tesco supermarket, as well as retail, office and housing units. Developers say it could create 900 jobs.

The council report said it is expected around £1.8m worth of trade would move from the Stocksbridge scheme to Kilner Way, representing 7.2 per cent of the former development’s anticipated trade. But it added: “It is considered this trade withdrawal is not likely to prejudice the development.”