A key decision on Sheffield’s new retail quarter is set to be made next week as plans for the development gather pace.
The first phase of the major city centre project – a six-storey office block, to be the HSBC bank’s new home – will go before the planning and highways committee on Tuesday.
Council officers have recommended the scheme, which also includes ground level shops and new public areas, for approval.
HSBC has signed a 15-year lease on a building on the site of the old Grosvenor House Hotel, between Wellington Street, Cambridge Street, Charter Row and Furnival Gate, which is now being demolished.
A report to councillors calls the development ‘much-needed’.
Addressing an objection from Historic England to the size of the new block, the report adds: “While a large building, the architectural approach should result in a visually cohesive builing which makes appropriate reference to its mixed context.
“It also will make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the city centre.
“Moreover, the proposed public spaces will provide a quality setting for the new development.
“It will also help to establish a strong sense of place and an attractive and comfortable place to live, work and visit.
“It is considered that the proposed development will not cause harm to the city centre conservation area, nor the setting of heritage assets including Leah’s Yard and the former Sunday School.”
The neighbouring Charter Square roundabout is currently being replaced by a two-way street, with a new public square to be built.
A planning application for the second phase of the retail quarter has yet to be submitted.
HSBC is in the process of shutting its Hoyle Street offices this year, moving its workers to its existing Griffin House building, where the bank’s lease expires in 2019.
It is hoped construction of the new offices, opposite a revamped Charter Square, will begin early next year, with the building ready by spring 2019.
As well as 140,000 square feet of office space and a roof terrace, the new building’s ground floor will be made up of retail units including shops, restaurants and bars. There will be 60,000 sq ft of space available.
The council hopes the overall project – due to be completed by 2021 – will result in thousands of extra jobs and bring £300 million into the city centre annually.