Sheffield Council extend Chapel Walk scaffolding deadline

Sheffield Council has extended the deadline for developers to take down scaffolding blighting business on a popular city centre street.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 1:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 6:45 pm
Scaffolding on Chapel Walk in Sheffield city centre. Picture Scott Merrylees

Fargate Evolve were told last month they had 35 days to remove the scaffolding on Chapel Walk before the council removed it themselves and forced them to pay.

The date by which they had to do this passed on Wednesday, September 6 but now the council say they are giving them another week before taking action.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said: “We have issued a notice regarding the removal of the scaffolding and hoarding, and have been informed in the course of our ongoing dialogue with the developer that there is a credible prospect of the development now continuing.

Scaffolding on Chapel Walk in Sheffield city centre. Picture Scott Merrylees

“To allow the developer to evidence this and to show if and how they will finally quickly progress the development we have allowed a week’s extension to the notice until Saturday. We reserve the right to remove the scaffolding and will do so if the evidence provided does not meet with what the council require.

“It is reasonable in the current circumstances to not proceed with the removal where it is that there is a realistic prospect of work continuing. It is also essential that the developer works with the Chapel Walk traders – who have already suffered enough from the lack of progress on this development.”

The scaffolding has damaged businesses on the street since September 2017, which some say has resulted in a huge loss in trade.

It was put up for a £4.6 million scheme to build apartments but has progressed at snail’s pace.

Mark Mitchell, managing director of Fargate Evolve, said they only recently took over responsibility for the site, with the financial support of West One.

He said: “This has been an unacceptable situation for traders and shoppers in the area and since taking over from Coyne Group a few weeks ago, we have worked hard behind the scenes to find a solution to events that have been out of our control…

“We’re really looking forward to recommencing work on the site in the very near future, with our immediate priority being the external façade of the site and then the removal of the scaffolding and hoardings, which we know will bring welcome relief to local shop owners and shoppers, whose patience we greatly appreciate.”

He added: “By appealing to tourists, visitors and business customers alike, we fully expect local businesses and shop owners to financially benefit from these new serviced apartments, as well as boosting employment with a number of new jobs being created to manage the site.”

Coun Martin Smith, shadow cabinet member for business and investment, said: “The council has dragged its feet on this for nearly two years. Retailers in the city centre are fed up with hearing about grand plans for the long-term future of Fargate when the council does little or nothing to help them now. This has to change.”