Fresh plans in for £35 million apartments, shops and student flats scheme on Sheffield's Ecclesall Road

Fresh proposals have been submitted for a £35 million development of apartments, shops and student flats on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield - despite the scheme being subject to a costly planning dispute.

Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:29 pm
A new artist's impression of the proposed apartments, student flats and shops on Ecclesall Road

Earlier this year the Government agreed to developer Hallminster’s request for a full public inquiry after the city council refused to give the firm’s project, planned for the site of the old Vauxhall showroom between Summerfield Street and Pear Street, the go-ahead.

But now a new planning application has been lodged addressing some of the council’s concerns – namely that the scheme would be too big for the surrounding area, and that it could harm the prospect of redeveloping neighbouring land, used as a car wash.

In a statement submitted to the council, architects Bond Bryan said the student building’s height had been cut by more than five metres, or 15 per cent.

“This would be a ‘significant change’, the designers said, and would push up construction costs as a more expensive concrete frame would be needed, instead of steel.

And bedrooms have been switched around in the plans to avoid the risk of ‘overlooking’ on to the car wash.

“The overall feel and look of this scheme is similar to the original application and compromises in areas referred to in the refusal to overcome the issues,” the statement said.

“We believe we have a quality, balanced and sustainable scheme.”

New artist’s impressions have been drawn up to demonstrate the reduction in height.

The development would feature four blocks ranging from six to 11 storeys, providing more than 2,000 sq ft of retail space, 136 residential apartments, accommodation for 190 students and basement car parking.

It is understood the planning appeal is still active, despite the new application. The council opposed an inquiry, saying earlier this year that it was a ‘totally inappropriate forum’ for settling the dispute.

Inquiries can prove an expensive process. Inspectors, or the secretary of state, can make an award of costs to either party in an appeal, which can run into many thousands of pounds.

Dan Simpson, of Hallminster, previously said the firm had been ‘left with no option but to appeal’, and that he feared his company was being ‘forced to turn to cities such as Manchester and Leeds, which are more receptive to developers’.