Student flats may rise from ashes of club fire

A complex of student flats is due to be built on the site of Sheffield’s former Gatecrasher ‘superclub’, which was destroyed by fire almost seven years ago.

Accommodation for 245 students is planned at the corner of Matilda Street and Arundel Street, which still bears the scar of the blaze.

Council permission is being sought for a development of between five and seven storeys with a view to completion by summer 2016 ready for the new academic year. The location is near the main campus of Sheffield Hallam University.

Concerns have been raised that the city centre is becoming saturated with student flats, with some now being empty, but developers City Estates believe there remains a demand for new accommodation in the right location.

“There have been a number of people converting redundant office space, but there has been very little in the way of new build for a number of years,” said director Dale Fixter.

“There will always be a demand for the right product in the right place. This location is as prime as you can get with more of a focus more towards Hallam University than Sheffield. We don’t feel there is any issue with demand in this location.”

City Estates developed the West One residential, commercial and leisure complex in Fitzwilliam Street and Sellers Wheel, the conversion of an old factory into shops, leisure and student flats in Arundel Street, near the latest site.

Now it is looking to transform the cleared site of the former Gatecrasher club and a neighbouring empty factory, with student cluster and studio flats above commercial units such as shops or offices.

The flats would have an internal courtyard and communal facilities such as a gym and laundrette. Costs are estimated at £10m.

One of the main issues for the council is the scale of the development and how it would look against neighbouring buildings in the Cultural Industries Quarter. Preliminary talks have been held with the council about the scheme, designed by Sheffield-based dlp planning consultants.

Planning permission was granted last month to a separate developer for 341 student flats as part of a scheme next to Hyde Park flats, in Maltravers Road.

Gatecrasher and the cheesegrater

Gatecrasher burnt to the ground after five years in the old Roper and Wreakes factory. No official cause was released, although it was thought the fire started in the DJ box. Plans to move the club into the ground floor of the ‘cheesegrater’ car park were rejected because of disturbance to nearby residents.