Uncertain future for half-finished Sheffield flats

Spectrum flats on Egerton Street, Sheffield.
Spectrum flats on Egerton Street, Sheffield.

Work has halted for a second time on a half-finished block of student flats dogged by financial problems.

Builders appear to have left the £10m Spectrum scheme on Egerton Street, next to Hanover Way, Sheffield, after returning in the spring - two years after downing tools for a first time.

Work first stopped in 2015 when a construction company went bust.

It left the seven-storey building open to the elements. Windows were finally boarded up in March and construction seemed about to begin again.

But today, just a security guard is on site and the gates are closed.

The Spectrum project was a ‘special purpose vehicle’ company controlled by Manchester-based holding company MVG Holdings.

All flats costing £60,000 had been snapped up by investors ‘off-plan’ - before they were built.

A spokesman for MVG said ownership had now passed to those investors.

He added: “The buyers took the decision to commission a different builder, and we believe it won’t be long until the site is complete.”

A reader who asked not to be named said: “Living near Hanover Way and seeing this unpleasant eyesore only too often, I have noticed that little work has taken place since March.”

In June, MVG’s sales agent, Pinnacle Alliance, went into liquidation. It had acted for MVG on a host of projects in northern cities which were left half-finished following the collapse of the original builders PHD1.

Only groundworks had been carried out on the Angelgate scheme for 344 flats in Manchester before PHD1, went bust. After months of delay, buyers issued a petition to put the development into administration.

Administrator Duncan Swift, of Moore Stephens chartered accountants, said buyers - many of them in Hong Kong - had lost patience after waiting 18 months for construction to restart.

In December, Mr Swift said they had paid deposits of up to 80 per cent of an apartment’s cost, totalling £33m, and there had been “inadequate” explanations of where it had gone.

“It looks as if much was paid in sales commissions.”