Decision due on plan for 16-storey tower next to historic Sheffield building

The view looking up at the O2 Academy
The view looking up at the O2 Academy
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Councillors have been urged to approve plans to build a 16-storey tower block next to a historic Sheffield building.

Langland Estates wants to develop the vacant land at the junction of Pond Street and Flat Street, near to the city centre bus interchange.

An early version of the plan.

An early version of the plan.

The developer’s proposal includes a 16-storey tower and a 10-storey block, with enough space to house 241 students.

The land is next door to the Grade II-listed former Head Post Office building, which is now home to Sheffield Hallam University’s Sheffield Institute of Arts.

The firm also wants to put up a screen around machinery on the roof of that building, so councillors must also consider an application for listed building consent.

A decision will be made by the planning committee on Tuesday, and council officers have recommended approval.

The site next to the old Head Post Office in Pond Street.

The site next to the old Head Post Office in Pond Street.

A report to councillors says: “The site is currently vacant and its existing appearance does not benefit the adjacent Grade II-listed buildings or the prominent site.

“The proposal comprises of comprehensive redevelopment works and a high quality architectural design.

“It will provide a new use for the site, which will significantly enliven it and enhance the surroundings.

“Although the scheme is not strictly in accordance with land use policies in relation to mixed communities, it is concluded that an additional student use can be justified at this location.

“The site is a logical place for a tall building and a development of this character – especially given the proximity to the universities, the lack of impact on existing communities, the vision for the Sheaf Valley Quarter, and the sustainable gateway and city centre location.”

The council previously approved a plan to redevelop the entire Head Post Office area, including the corner site, in September 2015.

The refurbishment of the listed buildings, including the old Head Post Office, is complete, and Langland has now submitted detailed plans for the tower complex, which will be the final phase of the project.

The developer’s initial aim was to build up to 22 storeys high, but this was brought down to 16 after talks with the council’s planning department.

According to the new application, the complex would comprise cluster flats and self-contained studios.

Sheffield Hallam is not involved in Langland’s application. But the university took over the former Head Post Office in 2015. Students started using the building in January 2016 following a multi-million pound refurbishment.

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