Sheffield city centre’s Sevenstone scheme slashed by a quarter to cut costs

Artist's impression of original Sevenstone plans
Artist's impression of original Sevenstone plans
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SHEFFIELD’S Sevenstone new retail quarter will be 25 per cent smaller than first envisaged, its developer Hammerson has confirmed.

In its six-monthly report to shareholders, the company revealed the £600 million scheme, planned for the area between Barker’s Pool, The Moor and Fargate, will create 60,500 sq metres of new retail space - when original plans were for 80,000 sq metres.

The announcement is the first confirmation that Hammerson is reducing the development’s size - although it was revealed earlier this year that the John Lewis store is to remain in its current building and the proposed New Burgess Street is to have only a single, rather than a double deck, of shops.

David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: “We have a new development agreement with Sheffield Council for Sevenstone and now have control of the land. Sevenstone has outline planning consent, some of the buildings in the scheme have detailed consent and we are working closely with principal stakeholders, such as John Lewis.

“The current scheme comprises 60,500 sq metres of retail and leisure accommodation and 2,500 parking spaces.”

Sevenstone is listed as one of the company’s ‘longer term’ rather than ‘committed’ or ‘near-term’ developments.

Sheffield Council chief executive, John Mothersole, said: “The 60,000 sq metre scheme is still consistent with the original objectives. It’s extremely good news that Hammerson has confirmed its commitment to Sevenstone.”

Hammerson revealed that it is going ahead with a major shopping scheme in Leeds city centre which will have 106,000 sq metres of retail space, it revealed.

The Leeds scheme, called Eastgate Quarters, is also listed as a ‘longer term’ development. It received outline planning permission in 2007, whereas Sevenstone’s was granted in 2006.

Hammerson’s original Sevenstone plans aimed to create 860,000 sq ft - almost 80,000 sq metres - of ‘prime retail space’ to revitalise Sheffield.”

Sevenstone was put on hold in the recession and has been scaled down to reduce costs, making it easier to finance, Sheffield Council said.

Work is due to start in 2013 with the first stores set to open in 2015. The latest preliminary phase of Sevenstone came last month with notices to complete compulsory purchase of the site.

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