Next public inquiry opens in Sheffield

Artist's impression of proposed Next Home store at Meadowhall.
Artist's impression of proposed Next Home store at Meadowhall.
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Controversial plans for a Next Home and Garden store were rejected despite Sheffield Council recognising that arguments against the scheme were ‘weak’, a public inquiry has heard.

Emails obtained by British Land, which is challenging the council’s rejection of the scheme also showed that two experts told the authority the plan should be granted.

British Land wants to build a 5,678 square metre Next Home and Garden store on derelict land off Vulcan Road, near Meadowhall, along with a Sytner car dealership and Costa Coffee bar.

The scheme, which would create up to 150 jobs at the Next store alone, was refused by Sheffield Council last year but British Land has appealed and the case is being heard by a Planning Inspector at Sheffield Town Hall this week.

The council argues the store would breach its planning policy against further expansion of Meadowhall, and that there is a suitable alternative site on the edge of the city centre.

The inquiry is set to continue all week hearing evidence from both the council, British Land and Next.

■ Full story see tomorrow’s Star.