Councillor’s concern over £25m housing plan for Sheffield students

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Controversial plans for a £25 million student housing complex in Sheffield could be given the nod.

Town Hall officers have recommended approval to a proposal to demolish workshops and offices at the Globe II Business Centre, and a BT office tower, in Maltravers Road, Wybourn, to make way for the scheme.

Sheffield Council’s planning committee will vote at a meeting today whether to grant Singapore-based Forward Realty Ltd permission to build a complex up to 12 storeys high with 641 bedrooms and its own shop, bar, restaurant, gym and laundry.

The site would also be home to 29 ‘retirement apartments’ and a care home facility.

But Coun Terry Fox, who represents Wybourn ward, said: “The Wybourn estate is very much a tight infrastructure.

“To build a gated 600 student village to the edge and just bolt it on does not give an opportunity for engagement.

“The area we have around the Manor is one of the most deprived areas of the city.

“Taking away a site like this does nothing to assist our objectives as local councillors.”

Sheffield Hallam University questioned the need for the development when plans were submitted.

Accommodation manager Karen Burke said: “There are over 20,000 student bed spaces available in the city.

“We need to ensure we do not over-exceed demand.”