City Centre Development

Council urged to press ahead with retail plans in city centre masterplan

A significant group of business leaders has welcomed the initial ideas and consultations on the new City Centre Master Plan, but called on Sheffield City Council to press ahead with plans for new retail development both in the City Centre and in the Lower Don Valley

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Council members, a group of 40 business leaders from across the city, listened to the local authority on a wide range of draft proposals to improve the core of the city over the next decade.

Generally, they were supportive about the scale of the ambition and fully backed the strategy to develop a distinctive city offer that stood out from Meadowhall locally and from Manchester and Leeds further afield.

It raised concerns that the council needed to press ahead with the Sevenstone development, without Hammersons if they were not prepared to commit immediately, improve transport accessibility to the centre but also to welcomed other proposed investments such as IKEA and NEXT in the Lower Don Valley, recognising that that area had also to keep developing and the need to attract people and jobs to Sheffield.

Sheffield City Council has embarked on a six-week consultation period with businesses and members of the public about the masterplan The final plan which is due to be presented for Cabinet approval in October will contain a full implementation programme. which will inform funding bids and key partnerships.

David Child, chair of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Council, commented: “We thank the City Council for discussing the masterplan with us and we encourage more people to get involved in the consultation period.

“Sheffield city centre has made tremendous progress in recent years but is lagging behind other major UK locations with its retail offering and we would urge the council to show real ambition in delivering development in this area.

“As a Chamber we will be providing constructive feedback to the City Council to help deliver a strong and ambitious vision for the future of Sheffield, which will provide benefits to businesses and residents to enjoy working and living in the city.”

The Chamber group highlighted a number of key areas for the City Council to consider within its proposal, including:

  • Significantly improving the road network to reduce congestion on key routes into the city centre, as well as enhancing vehicle access to the train station.
  • An early decision for Hammersons to press-on with the Sevenstone development as soon as possible, with a desperate need for a start to be made on site by their suggested 2015 date at the latest
  • A need to improve the City Council’s Buy Local policy
  • Linking developments in the Lower Don Valley such as NEXT and IKEA with efforts and opportunities to attract people towards the city centre
  • Marketing the city centre offering better
  • Financial support for start-ups and independents to take up city centre occupancy

A Sheffield City Council exhibition displaying the masterplan is taking place at the Millennium Galleries, with information also available on the council website.

  • S24SU

    Surely, its time now to stop with the almost ‘junta’esuque mode of silence approach and contemptuous attitude towards Sheffield’s general inhabitants with regard to the whole NRQ farce. Surely, it is obvious that economics rule business thinking, and whatever rhetoric we are constantly fed from the public relations (or indeed lack of) department of the Council, the development is not going to happen, end of, so just say so and srop treating the general public with contempt. We, unfortunately, are not privy to the shenanigans of these so called ‘progress meetings’ over the last few years, ( yes, years), and who knows, apart from the vested over-paid public servants and mufti-millionare directors of the developer, but what anyone of average intelligence can deduce is that there is no willingness on the part of the developer to proceed or else they would have by now, or at least indicated a definite date when. Please do not to try to insult our intelligence by issuing banal press releases, when all we read is of how many other developments have been given the green light or are imminent. I have a cutting from a national property development journal in my possession which contains an article on ‘The Meadowhall development near Leeds’. I cant blame Sheffield City Council for all journalistic abhorrences, but I think that description should take everyone who has a vested interest in our great city, aback.

  • Richard Wright

    Alex. You are obviously passionate about this subject judging by your comments. The correspondence we have had on the city developments from others shows us that you are one of many. In fairness I don’t think the Chamber has sat on the fence – we have basically said yes to NEXT, yes to IKEA, increase traffic capacity at Junction 24, yest to the new University engineering block and get on with the retail development in the city centre (Sevenstone). I think that is pretty clear and concise. We are not against Hammersons – they are a good developer – we do think the council should use somebody else though if they won’t commit and get on with it now. Our comments are always based on financial arguments – we try to stay away from politics, personal points and emotion – and the reason we have taken the above stand is purely because of the commercial importance of both the city centre and the Lower Don Valley to the economy of this city. That apart there are things in the Masterplan that deserve merit. The plans around Castlegate that will vastly improve the pedestrian route into the city from the canal basin area thereby helping the hotels and businesses down there are good for instance.