Offering affordable housing at the planned redevelopment of the old Beauchief Hotel would render the scheme completely unviable, an independent review has found.
Council officers are still considering proposals to turn the former hotel and restaurant on Abbeydale Road South into a development of 30 homes. The scheme would involve creating six two-bedroom apartments in the existing hotel building, as well as putting up a new block of 12 two-bedroom flats and 12 detached homes.
DVS – a firm of property specialists for the public sector – was hired by Sheffield Council to give a recommendation on whether the applicant, Sheafbank Investments, should be required to make a contribution towards affordable housing on the site, in line with planning rules.
In a report, DVS said Sheafbank’s advisors Broadfield Project Management had stated that, if it were fully compliant, the proposed scheme would make a loss.
The specialists said that, to be compliant, the developer would need to contribute £1,885,350 towards affordable homes, as well as paying a £233,562 community infrastructure levy and £40,000 towards highway works.
But DVS’s valuer John Hurman said: “It is my independent conclusion that the scheme cannot viably support any level of affordable housing contribution. Only when all developer contributions are excluded does the scheme become marginally viable.”
The venue, built in 1900 as the Abbeydale Station Hotel, closed at the end of 2015. High repair costs were given as a reason for the decision.
It was last operated by BrewKitchen, a joint venture of Richard Smith’s restaurant group and Thornbridge Brewery.