Councillors have given their backing to a development that will begin the transformation of Sheffield city centre.
Members of the planning and highways committee this week approved the planning application for the first phase of the new retail quarter – a six-storey office block, which will become the Sheffield home of banking giant HSBC.
The development, on the site of the old Grosvenor House Hotel – currently being demolished – will also include shops at ground level and a new public area where Charter Square roundabout now sits.
A planning application for the rest of the retail quarter has yet to be submitted.
Speaking at this week’s planning committee meeting, Coun Peter Rippon said: “Naturally with any development you are going to get some dissension, but what we are ending up with is going to be a first-class area.”
Coun Peter Price said it would be a ‘tremendous’ addition to the city centre, adding: “This is the first piece of the jigsaw of the new retail quarter.”
Coun Jack Clarkson raised concerns about parking and traffic in the area – although he was assured by officers that all measures had been taken to minimise disruption.
But he said it was ‘nice to know’ HSBC was staying in Sheffield.
And Coun Andrew Sangar said: “This does look like a very high-quality project. I’m really pleased that we have got an anchor tenant and a major financial company staying here.”
HSBC has signed a 15-year lease on the new building, which will in total house more than 3,000 employees – of which more than 2,700 will work for the bank.