Sheffield City Council continue to demonstrate ambition for Sheffield city centre, having granted planning permission for a mixed use development (application ref. number 18/00858/FUL) which involves the creation of student accommodation comprising 330 bed spaces, and the retention of existing retail space on the first two floors of a tower block located at 50 High Street.
The site is centrally located on the main High Street in the retail heart of the city. It is bounded to the North by the High Street, to the east by Arundel Gate, and to the west by Mulberry Street/Path. The building is joined to the south by Mulberry House. The location of the building at the junction between High Street and Arundel Gate is significant because it stands at the entrance to the City Centre Conservation Area, one of 38 within Sheffield.
This is a large building that was historically used as a department store until the last occupier (TJ Hughes) vacated the site in 2013. Presently, the building has 6 floors (excluding basement). The lower two levels are currently occupied by retail shops – British Heart Foundation, Poundland and Sports Direct. The upper four levels of the building and one small retail unit fronting Arundel Gate at the southern end of the building remain vacant.
It was established that structurally the building could accommodate an additional two storeys of accommodation and this was deemed appropriate by the planners. The proposal will retain the building’s retail offering at the lower and upper ground floor levels and the creation of 330 student bedrooms across the remaining 5 floors.
The proposals will bring the entire building back into use and refurbish its elevations, enhancing its use and appearance as well as improving activity / vibrancy in this part of the city – all of which will have a positive impact on the building, High Street and the wider City Centre.
The site is highly sustainable, especially for a student development. Sheffield Hallam University is very close to the site with campus buildings situated immediately opposite the site and the main City Centre Campus just 200m to the south. The University of Sheffield is slightly further away but still close and easily accessible by excellent public transport facilities (bus and tram) that are located immediately outside the building on High Street, Castle Square and Arundel Gate.
Overall, the proposed scheme will secure the future of existing vacant floors of an underused building in the City Centre, which is considered to be a good location for a student focused development; it is a highly sustainable location with very good transport and walking access to both of Sheffield’s Universities. It was therefore concluded that the benefits of regenerating the site and giving it new life will have a positive effect on the area.
Based at Park Hill, we have a close connection with Sheffield with numerous clients in the region. Please get in touch for advice on any planning issues or potential projects.
Harry Capstick, Graduate Planner, Planning & Design Practice Ltd