Huge plan for 90 co-living apartments at Sheffield's Kelham Island approved

A Kelham Island development of 90 co-living units was narrowly approved by councillors after the chairman of planning took the rare step of using his second vote to push it through.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 11:33 am

The Hive, a seven-storey building where residents will share communal kitchens and lounges, will be built on the Aircraft and Commercial Tools site on Bowling Green Street.

It will include 64 studios, six accessible studios and 20 two-bed apartments aimed at young professionals and older people wanting to downsize.

Several councillors had concerns about the height, the heritage impact and the small size of the units.

Councillors narrowly approved a 90-unit co-living development called The Hive at Kelham Island (Image Cartwright Pickard)

Five councillors voted against and five councillors, including Peter Price, voted in favour.

But councillors Roger Davison and Zahira Naz abstained which meant there was a tie so Coun Peter Price had a second vote as chairman and again voted in favour.

Coun Brian Holmshaw said: “For me the size of the apartments is a key thing, 64 apartments of that size is too many and too small.

“As the Conservation Action Group has said, the building would impact on the Ebenezer chapel and the Sunday school.

“Historic England have intervened for a second time, and maybe this is a thing we’re going to get in Sheffield now, because they’ve hardly ever in the past few years made any statement on Sheffield buildings.

“They say is this is not an appropriate development, there are serious concerns on the heritage and the current buildings have a positive impact and should not be demolished.”

Legal officer Vicky Clayton warned councillors that Sheffield did not have a five year housing supply so they had to apply “titled balance” to the application.

She said: “That means because our policies are currently out of date, we should be granting permission, unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

Coun Peter Price said it was a difficult decision but on balance, he was voting in favour. “I understand the all the fears we have but there is a desperate need for housing in this city especially in the case of young people.”