Sheffield Civic Trust has welcomed the first phase of the city’s retail quarter - but warned more thought should be given to cyclists and pedestrians.
The city council gave trustees an early look at the plans for the Grosvenor House Hotel site as part of a wider consultation.
The hotel will be knocked down to make way for a six-storey office block - the new home of HSBC - as well as shops, bars and restaurants, some of which will be built on a newly-pedestrianised Charter Square.
The civic trust said the combination of the retail quarter and the new cinema development on The Moor was a ‘magnet’ to bring pedestrians through the area, and an ‘improvement on the current space which is dominated by vehicles’.
“The prioritisation of pedestrians and links to The Moor are seen as important,” the trust said.
The 15,000 sq ft office block is the focal point of phase one and seen as a ‘catalyst’ for further development by the council. Known as the Cavendish Building, it will have shops and restaurants on the ground floor.
The trust said: “Much thought is going into making this a building that contributes to the context, responding to street frontages and the main square. The facade studies and stepped floors relating to street levels were encouraging.”
Trustees also praised the idea of a roof terrace and suggested public access would be preferable. They said the building should be an ‘exemplary project with high aspirations for sustainability’.
But they raised concerns about access for cyclists and those working at the new office block, and suggested more focus on pedestrians in the wider area. The trustees said: “There is the potential to improve Carver Street and Wellington Street as high quality shared space, used for local access only.”
The trust welcomed the early consultation, calling it a ‘positive move by the city and the developer’.
Consultation on phase one has now ended, but a planning application is yet to be submitted. A decision on an outline planning application for the whole retail quarter is likely to be made this month.
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