Residents in Sheffield city centre have been told they will need to be rehoused by spring – so their homes can be redeveloped for the city’s new retail quarter.
Letters have been sent out to householders urging them to arrange a visit from officers to discuss their options – despite the fact plans for the £480 million scheme have not yet been submitted and a developer will not be chosen until the end of the year.
The letter said the council would ‘shortly be acquiring’ the building from their current landlord Hammerson.
It said the authority had a view to ‘obtaining vacant possession by early spring 2016.’
The letter said: “Your home is included within the properties required for the development of the Sheffield retail quarter scheme.”
The letter also said council officers would discuss any available ‘compensation payments’ with residents.
Three properties in Laycock House, Pinstone Street, are affected as part of phase one of the development.
One resident said: “We always knew this would eventually happen, but the letter came as a bit of a shock.”
Figures have shown the council has already spent £13 million on buying back land from Hammerson, which was involved in the failed Sevenstone retail scheme.
A council spokesman said: “The council has received hundreds of positive comments about the Retail Quarter proposals and we are confident it will transform Sheffield city centre.
“However, we are also acutely aware there will be some disruption to a small number of businesses and residents currently occupying the site.
“We are committed to working closely with those affected, as early as possible, to help them find suitable alternative premises or homes.
“The tenants at Laycock House have been aware for some time the flats they rent are on the Sheffield Retail Quarter site.
“We will require vacant possession in time for work to start in spring and have invited them to meet us to discuss their options.”