Go-ahead for 364 homes on Sheffield city centre site allocated for business use

Plans have been approved for a 364-home mixed-use scheme in Sheffield city centre, in line with a recommendation from planners who advised that there had been a "shift in policy thinking" to support housing in an area previously allocated for business use.

A visualisation of the development (pic: Whittam/Cox architects)
A visualisation of the development (pic: Whittam/Cox architects)

Sheffield City Council last week approved the full planning application for the Kangaroo Works scheme on a previously developed site in Rockingham Street.

The application sought consent for a mixed-use development incorporating 364 apartments, 764 square metres of commercial floorspace, with associated works, landscaping and ancillary features.

A planning report advised that the statutory development plans for the city include saved policies from the 1998 Sheffield City Council Unitary Development Plan (UDP), and the 2009 Sheffield City Council Core Strategy.

It said the application site is located in "a designated Business Area in which Policy IB7 of the UDP … describes business uses (use class B1) as the preferred use of land with a range of other uses considered to be acceptable including small shops, food and drink uses and housing (above ground level)".

It added that "Core Strategy Policy CS17 (City Centre Quarters) continues this approach to a degree, promoting the Heart of the City as a prime office and retail location".

However, it added that these core strategy policies "were not reflected in the later draft City Policies and Sites document. This proposed a retail site allocation and, on the accompanying Proposals Map, identified the site as part of a Central Housing Area."

The City Policies and Sites document was consulted on in 2013 but later scrapped.

"Whilst not a material consideration, this does illustrate the shift in policy thinking and the scope for housing to form a part of any new development of the area," the report said.

The report added that an "Informal Planning Advice Note (IPAN) produced in 2018 to accompany the marketing of the site by the Council's Property Service outlined that residential development with active ground floor uses would be acceptable in this location".

Planners also noted policy support in the core strategy for "the creation of mixed communities by providing for a broad range of smaller households in the City Centre".

The report concluded that the scheme would add "to the overall quality of the area and [enhance] the setting of nearby heritage assets."

According to the report, the site lies within an area of the city centre with no affordable housing requirement but where residential development attracts a Community Infrastructure Levy charge of £50 per square metre. 

Sheffield is currently working on producing a new local plan to replace its existing suite of planning documents. According to council documents, it had been due to adopt the plan by September 2018 but is yet to consult on its initial draft policies and site options document.

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