SHEFFIELD’S new Sevenstone retail quarter will be built in double-time to help make up for delays which have dogged the flagship scheme.
Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole told The Star the project will be constructed as a ‘big bang’ - all at once rather than in phases as originally envisaged.
The change will mean the entire scheme is finished in two years instead of up to four.
Sevenstone, first announced in 2006, has been on hold since 2009 due to the global economic crisis.
But a decision by the Government to allow up to £30 million of future income from business rates to be provided in advance to off-set risk means the council insists Sevenstone is now viable.
Mr Mothersole, who held crunch talks with Hammerson earlier in the month, said: “The aim is to have no phasing and to build the entire scheme at once - a kind of big bang.
“Work would begin next year and be finished by 2016.”
Mr Mothersole added that the council and Hammerson are involved in ‘sensitive high level negotiations which we aim to come to a conclusion very quickly’ so the project can begin.
The Star understands a decision on when work will begin is to be made in the next few weeks.
John Lewis is likely to move to a new store as part of the scheme and its current site redeveloped.
Concern had been expressed by opposition councillors about the length of delay to Sevenstone because Hammerson had announced other schemes in Leeds and Croydon while the Sheffield scheme has been on hold.
Sevenstone in numbers:
Proposed completion date Hammerson and Sheffield Council are working towards - 2016
Estimated cost of the original proposals - value of final scheme not yet revealed - £600
Years of delay to the project, first phases of which were planned to be finished in 2011 - 5
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