Green light given for multi-million pound Chinese property deal

Sheffield is set to benefit from a landmark £65 million pound property development after city councillors gave the green light to plans.

Work is expected to start on New Era Square – a 21-storey mixed leisure, commercial and residential development – in July this year after planning officers gave it the go ahead today (20 January).

The development is set to transform an area between London Road and Bramall Lane, close to the city centre and New Era Development Ltd, the Sheffield-based company behind the project, said it will create a “cosmopolitan, international, multi-cultural square which is available to all.”

The exciting major project will include retail units, food and drink outlets on the ground floor, leading out to an open-air square for events. A large Chinese supermarket will span two levels.

On the first floor there will be office space for professional service businesses, an exhibition hall and a China Business Incubator to enhance enterprise and trade between China and the UK.

From the third floor there will be approximately 700 student accommodation units, predominately 30sqm studio rooms, plus micro-flats and student cluster flats.

The project, which has received significant inward investment from China, is set to create more than 400 new jobs once construction has been completed.

More than 100 people attended a special event to launch the development in September last year, including key investors and the Deputy Consul General Of The People’s Republic of China, Zhou Haicheng.

The project also received the backing of the some of the city’s key people and organisations – with Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg, Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council and Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, all speaking out in support of the project.

In the report to the planning committee, officers stated:

  • The scheme overall represents a high quality and significant development at a highly sustainable and prominent gateway location on the edge of the city centre.
  • The scheme represents substantial investment in the city that will provide a multi-cultural social hub and Chinese Business Incubator with the potential for significant inward investment and business development.
  • The development will provide a new urban destination for the benefit of the wider community including a new public square and enhancement of the pedestrian/cycle infrastructure at St Mary’s roundabout.

Jerry Cheung, managing director of New Era Development (UK) Ltd, said: “We are absolutely delighted that New Era Square has been granted planning approval. This is the culmination of many years of hard work so it is the best possible news we could have hoped for.

“New Era Square is a landmark development for the city of Sheffield that will see the area transformed into a cosmopolitan, international, multi-cultural square which is available to all. We want the area to become a central point for the whole community – something that will bring people together.

“As well as providing leisure and residential facilities, the China Business Incubator within the development will become a hub for promoting international trade, focusing on opportunities for businesses to increase their presence in China and to bring more inward business from the Far East.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing our vision of this exciting project come to life once work begins.”

Speaking at the time of the project’s launch, Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg, said: “As a local MP I believe that the New Era Development is an outstanding chance to move our city forward and build on our strong business relationship with China.”

For more information about New Era Square visit