Council pushing to help kick-start developments

Coun Leigh Bramall
Coun Leigh Bramall
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Sheffield Council has hit back at claims it has not done enough to help kickstart stalled city centre developments.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, said the authority is ‘not far off’ completing assembly of land under a compulsory purchase order for a company which has taken on the West Bar scheme.

Coun Bramall said: “We’re working with a new firm, Bolsterstone, which has taken on the site after the old owner went bust.

“In 2011, the cabinet approved plans to assemble all the pieces of land under a compulsory purchase order, to make it easier for the developer. The process is now almost complete.”

Coun Bramall added that the former Nelson Mandela building and Sheaf House sites outside Midland Railway Station are being remarketed with help from the council.

He said: “The sites are part of the City Centre Masterplan for the next 10 years and are in public ownership with the Homes and Communities Agency.

“We will be working to support developers for the sites.

“East Midlands Trains is about to make things easier with a planning application to change access arrangements for cars and taxis around the station, meaning entry to the Sheaf House site will be better.”

Coun Bramall said the proposed skyscraper on Spital Hill was a ‘speculative’ development, while the steel football was an idea of former Sheffield Central MP and Sports Minister Richard Caborn.

He added the council is helping other developments through its £20 million JESSICA fund, which offers loans for business schemes.

A council loan will help support construction of a third office block at the St Paul’s Place development.

The council is also bidding for a share of £500 million given to Sheffield City Region to spend on infrastructure projects such as new roads to help developers.

Sheffield Council added that it is supporting other schemes including the Moor Markets and redevelopment of The Moor, along with looking for a new developer for the new retail quarter scheme in the New Year.