Huge block of flats on hold while council investigate affordable housing

Councillors delayed a decision on a huge block of flats planned for Sheffield city centre as they did not incorporate any affordable homes.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 16:10 pm
Bird's-eye view of proposed development. Image by Leach Rhodes Walker.

At a planning and highways committee meeting Michael Edgar, of DLP Planning who acted as consultants on the application, said the development would be a “high quality landmark” with the “potential to make significant contributions to housing supply.”

The plans would involve the demolition of a car park on Milton Street, with 372 apartments put up in its place.

Mr Edgar said the scheme would generate £4.1 million in infrastructure levy money, which goes towards community facilities.

Proposed Milton Street development. Image by Leach Rhodes Walker

However councillor Peter Rippon, who represents the Richmond ward, said ‘things didn’t add up’.

He added: “The application wasn’t at all acceptable to me as it contained no affordable housing. Labour councillors are committed to delivering affordable homes, this is the foundation of our housing strategy, and this application fell way below what should be considered acceptable.

“This is why I requested that council officers go back to the developers and valuers and obtain a further independent assessment by valuers, to rightly ascertain for certain that assumptions around viability are subject to rigorous challenge – and that a decision on the application should be deferred until that independent opinion has been sought.”

His suggestion was seconded by councillors Douglas Johnson, Zahira Naz and Andrew Sangar. All but one of the councillors on Sheffield’s planning committee voted in favour of the idea.