Row over price of new Park Hill flats

Park Hill, Sheffield
Park Hill, Sheffield
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PARK Hill could end up being home to ‘the most expensive council flats in the world’ if there is not enough funding to complete the entire project, opposition Lib Dem councillors have claimed.

The complex is being redeveloped at a cost of £160 million - including £39m of public money - and the first revamped flats to go on sale have resulted in a huge amount of interest.

The Lib Dems’ claim has resulted in a stinging rebuke from Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield, who accused the party of ‘using every opportunity to undermine a successful redevelopment’.

Phase one of Park Hill, involving blocks overlooking Park Square, is nearing completion, with show apartments open for public viewing.

But the future four phases depend on the success of sales from the first and if not enough money is made to make the development viable, the remaining parts could be pulled down.

The Lib Dems have pointed out that if only phase one is completed, there will be just 56 flats available for social housing - working out at £696,000 of taxpayers’ money invested per property.

Even if the entire complex is finished, only 200 of the finished apartments will be available for rent as social housing, meaning the amount of public money spent per property will be £195,000.

Flats at Park Hill are available for shared ownership priced from £90.000.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem opposition leader, said: “These figures prove exactly what everyone other than Labour councillors already know, that the Park Hill project represents a terrible deal for the taxpayer even in the unlikely event that the entire project is completed.”

Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield said: “I am sorry that the Lib Dems are using every opportunity to undermine a successful redevelopment which is proving very popular and will, I’m sure, be a great landmark for the city.”