Go-ahead for Sheffield University office plan

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Sheffield University has won permission to expand its campus by converting a city centre office building.

The city council has approved proposals to turn Cathedral House, on the corner of Church Street and Vicar Lane, into academic space for staff and students.

The development will cater for 291 students, 98 staff from the psychology department and 15 members of the city and cultural events team.

Giving the go-ahead, planning officers said in a report: “The nature of the proposals are unlikely to impact on nearby residents, the nearest of whom are on Campo Lane, and the site is very well served by public transport, including the Supertram and numerous bus routes.

“The proposed change of use is considered to be acceptable in principle.”

Officers said the scheme will ‘facilitate the ongoing investment in the university’s central campus’.

“The proposals also bring into use a building that has been partially vacant for some years, with minor physical alterations,” the report added.

In the original submission to the council, the university’s planning agent, DLP, said: “The upper floors of the building have been vacant for a significant period of time and despite active marketing, there has been limited interest in this space.

“The proposed development will bring this space into full and active use.”

The NHS blood donor centre, which occupies part of the ground floor, will remain unaffected.

The rest of the ground floor was previously occupied by JobWise, which has relocated to nearby St James’ House.

Kier Sheffield left the fourth floor earlier this summer.

The scheme would extend the university’s central campus, drawing activity into the city centre, DLP added.