New Sheffield apartments approved despite objections from conservation groups

More than 200 apartments will be built next to one of Sheffield's busiest main roads despite objections from conservation groups.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 10:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 10:28 am
An artist's impression of the development (image AAD Architects)

Developers will demolish industrial and office buildings plus student accommodation on the site of the former Nambury Engineering on Penistone Road and create 222 private apartments, rising up to 11 storeys high.

Almost all of the planning committee voted in favour of the scheme, saying new homes were desperately needed and this was an ideal brownfield site.

Coun Robert Murphy voted against and there were objections from local residents and conservation groups.

The site, which has been vacant for about five years, currently houses a series of brick built industrial buildings and Rutland House student accommodation, on the corner of Dixon Street.

It falls within Kelham Island Conservation Area and nudges Globe Works, a grade II* listed building and the vacant grade II listed Cornish Works.

The new development will see 109 studios, 82 one-bedroom apartments and 31 two-bedroomed apartments plus two ground floor commercial units, basement car parking and communal space.

The plans had prompted 35 objections, including the Kelham Island Community Alliance and Conservation Advisory Group, and 10 letters of support.

Objectors said the tower and 'featureless apartments will dwarf and belittle the existing buildings' and detract from the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

There were fears the plans would set a bad precedent for other tall inappropriate buildings and complaints that Kelham is becoming 'saturated with small apartments' most suited to students and other temporary residents.

Letters in support said Sheffield should welcome the new 'quality designed landmark building to its skyline' and the development would enhance a once very run down area.

Developers amended the plans after Historic England raised concerns that the height of the block closest to Globe Works would be harmful to the setting of the listed building

Peter Noble, speaking on behalf of developers, said: 'This has been a creative and fruitful process resulting in a balanced scheme with wide ranging benefits.

'This is a very important and key site for the future regeneration of the local area. Many of developers are watching this application very closely and this is seen as a cork in the bottle neck.

'We think that as soon as this gets underway, further sites will be brought forward so it's a fairly significant site for future regeneration. We hope it will kick start future regeneration between the corridor between the A61 and River Don.'

Coun Robert Murphy objected and said: 'Kelham Island is one of the recent success stories in Sheffield and part of that is the conservation and the way developments have happened. The way the original landscape has been preserved is beautiful but this scheme is out of place. The 11 storey tower sticks out like a sore thumb.'

The rest of the planning committee approved the scheme. Coun Andrew Sangar said: 'Globe Works is a really important but the buildings being demolished are low value and are being replaced by a high quality building. This sort of development is what the city needs.'

Coun Peter Price added: 'Over the next 12 months we are trying to fulfil government requirements to find 30,000 dwellings and we are reviewing our Green Belt and greenfield sites. Pressures will grow to build on greenfield sites. The developers have try their best to fit this in and have done a reasonable job.'