Green light on the way for £55m Olympic Legacy Park

The overall design of Sheffield's planned Olympic Legacy Park
The overall design of Sheffield's planned Olympic Legacy Park
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Plans to build a new sports arena, outdoor venue, research centre and offices on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium in the east end of Sheffield are expected to get the green light.

The proposals - which will form the bulk of the city’s £55m Olympic Legacy Park - have been recommended for approval by council officers ahead of a planning committee meeting next Tuesday.

Full permission is sought for a 3,000-capacity indoor arena, as well as outline permission for a 5,000-spectator stadium, a 100-bedroom hotel, an Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre to study links between sport and medicine, and 10,000 square metres of office space.

“Overall the development represents a significant and welcomed regeneration project on this now vacant site, and secures substantial investment and employment opportunities for the city region,” a report to councillors says.

The park is a joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the council.

Don Valley Stadium was demolished two years ago in a cost-cutting measure. Since then the site in Attercliffe has been cleared and prepared for the new development.

Progress has already been made on two elements of the Legacy Park - the Oasis Academy, a new school for 1,200 children aged two to 16 which opened last year, and Sheffield’s second University Technical College, aimed at students aged 14 to 18 and specialising in human science, sport and digital technology, which is currently being built.

The £3.5million Park Community Arena will house the Sheffield Sharks basketball team, as well as being available for community use.

Its design features a distinctive, free spanning roof made of aluminium and zinc.

Meanwhile, the stadium will offer a 4G pitch where the Sheffield Eagles rugby team can play home games, with a stand for spectators.

A cafe, gym and other facilities are set to be provided, along with the hotel, which will offer rooms for visitors, including athletes and sport teams.

It is envisaged that the hotel would also provide a place to stay for people attending concerts at Sheffield Arena.

Office space would be provided within the research centre, and a separate six-storey building.

The report says the company behind the scheme - Legacy Park Ltd - had justified why these facilities should be provided away from the city centre, a departure from council policy.

Under the plans, three car parks would provide 394 spaces - however, studies found that the Legacy Park would face a shortfall of more than 400 car parking spaces during events with thousands of attendees.

Nearby on-street spaces and public car parks would provide ‘ample capacity’ to tackle this problem, says the report.

If approval is granted, the development will need to meet a series of conditions relating to nearby roads, including a new approach lane at the junction of Attercliffe Road and Worksop Road, changes to traffic signal times, and a new yellow box junction at Brightside Lane and Weedon Street.