Concerns raised over plans for new Sheffield retail park

The proposed site for the retail park in Drakehouse, Sheffield. Picture: Jon Ball.
The proposed site for the retail park in Drakehouse, Sheffield. Picture: Jon Ball.
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Concerns have been raised about potential traffic problems if a planned new Sheffield retail park is given the go-ahead.

Plans have been submitted to Sheffield Council seeking permission to build the park – including a food supermarket and drive-through coffee shop – in Drakehouse.

An Aldi supermarket, Costa Coffee store and Frankie & Benny's restaurant could be built in Drakehouse, Sheffield. Picture: Jon Ball

An Aldi supermarket, Costa Coffee store and Frankie & Benny's restaurant could be built in Drakehouse, Sheffield. Picture: Jon Ball

The scheme would see units for Aldi and Costa Coffee, as well as for discount store Home Bargains, and restaurant chain Frankie & Benny’s. Plans also include two other small retail units and more than 150 car parking spaces.

Agent Steven Abbott Associates, on behalf of Consolidated Property Group, said it would be ‘high-quality architecture’ and was big investment in the economy which would create building jobs and ‘a large number of permanent jobs’.

However, fears have been raised about the volume of traffic the scheme would be bring to an already busy area close to Drake House Retail Park and Crystal Peaks Shopping Mall & Retail Park.

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Clive Betts, Sheffield South East MP.

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Clive Betts, Sheffield South East MP, in a letter to Maria Duffy, council interim head of planning, said: “I do recognise the provision of an Aldi store in the area in particular would be welcomed by many of my constituents.

“On the other hand, many constituents are also concerned about the traffic problems around Crystal Peaks and Drake House and the fact each subsequent new development is not matched by any measures to deal with the traffic increase.

“The accumulation of developments over the years has led to a road system which at many times is simply not coping with the volume of traffic that exists.”

And Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Beighton ward member, called for more information about parking and ‘greening of the area in the way of plants and trees which absorb pollutants’.

She said: “I am not in support of further development in this area without substantial evidence that those two factors will be taken into consideration.”

Bosses at Crystal Peaks have also raised concerns about the impact the development could have on existing stores, which, they say, have already seen trade suffer following the opening of the Asda Drakehouse supermarket in January last year.

In a letter to council planning officers, Lee Greenwood, Crystal Peaks centre manager, said: “We have significant concerns with the suggestion that the proposed development would have a 6.3 per cent impact on Iceland at Crystal Peaks and a 3.2 per cent impact on the Sainsbury’s store. We suggest these assessments of impact on existing, in-centre stores is high and unacceptable.

“Our experience is that, since Asda opened, there has been a marked impact on the existiig convenience operators within Crystal Peaks.”

Mr Greenwood, who also raised traffic concerns in his objection said: “There are many questionable attributes of this development that have not been satisfactorily addressed in the work submitted to date.

“Some of these will have an undesirable effect on our clients’ town centre, Crystal Peaks, but, in addition, many have the potential to have an undesirable effect on community and sustainability.”

A decision on the scheme is expected at a meeting of the council’s planning committee next month.

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/plans-for-new-retail-park-in-sheffield-unveiled-1-7123336