Fees are waived to kick-start city developments

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developers are to be exempted from making payments towards public infrastructure improvements in a bid to kickstart stalled projects around Sheffield.

Work on a number of schemes has ground to a halt, leaving unsightly, derelict land and empty buildings.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet is set to approve the measure to ease the financial burden on developers so they are more likely to finish their projects.

In a report to the ruling councillors, Richard Holmes of the authority’s Place department said: “The proposal is for the council to implement a new scheme to encourage development where projects are marginally not yet financial viable.

“This will be in the form of a completion bonus, where exemptions to paying normal developer contributions to infrastructure will be available to encourage development to be completed quickly.

“Incentives will focus on the city centre and on small to medium schemes where relatively small changes to development costs can make all the difference to viability.”

The offer, set to be a short-term measure in place for the next year, has been recommended for approval at Sheffield Council’s cabinet meeting next Wednesday.

Developers are normally required to make financial contributions towards a wide range of public schemes, from affordable housing to improvements to highways and open spaces, extra capacity at schools and health centres, and public artwork.

Mr Holmes said a two-level completion bonus will be offered to developers.

Those completing within 18 months of obtaining planning permission will not have to make any public infrastructure contributions, reduced to 50 per cent between 18 months and two years.

The offer is for schemes of below 1,000 sq metres in size or 14 residential units.