Plans for £35m retail park on former Sheffield college set for approval

An artist's impression of the St James Retail Park on the former site of Norton College
An artist's impression of the St James Retail Park on the former site of Norton College
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A multi-million pound shopping complex in Sheffield is expected to get the green light.

Proposals to build a £35 million retail park at the old Norton College site, off Bochum Parkway at Meadowhead, are being recommended for approval by council planning officers ahead of a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday.

Norton College on Dyche Lane has been pulled down

Norton College on Dyche Lane has been pulled down

It will be named the St James Retail Park, and developers say it will be occupied by ‘high-profile’ national chains – and that interest from retailers has been ‘overwhelming.’

Around 250 jobs would be created, with a further 124 during construction.

It will complement regeneration schemes such as the £16 million revamp of Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.

But the plans have attracted opposition from nearby residents.

An artist's impression of the St James Retail Park on the former site of Norton College

An artist's impression of the St James Retail Park on the former site of Norton College

Concerns were raised in the consultation about extra traffic on the already-busy Meadowhead roundabout.

Graves Park Councilor Steve Ayris said car parking had the potential to ‘overspill on to neighbouring streets’, which could be used as a ‘rat run’ to the retail park.

He added that he thought the proposal could have an adverse impact on independent shops in nearby Woodseats.

One resident, who lives in nearby Meadowhead, said: “I welcome investment to the area on a brownfield site but traffic is already horrendous on Meadowhead and other roads leading up to the main roundabout.

“I’m concerned about the extra traffic and delivery trucks so close to Meadowhead School.

“It took the council ages to extend the Bochum Parkway and re-do the roundabout and they want to add yet another lane.

“I feel the development is a bit short-sighted.”

Discount food store Aldi is one of the first names to sign up for a new store on the retail park.

A report to the planning committee said: “The application is considered to be acceptable under the current interpretations and there is no evidence that the Norton development would result in significant adverse impact on any centre in terms of investment or vitality and viability.

“The principle of the proposal is therefore deemed to be acceptable in terms of retail policy.

“The layout of the car park and re-arrangement of the junction into the site is considered to be satisfactory and an improvement upon the current highway layout.

“The proposal represents a sustainable re-development of a brownfield site that is of a satisfactory design.”

Construction work could begin later this year with the retail park opening by December 2017.