Council reveals more details of plans to freshen up Sheffield's public spaces

Fitzalan Square will be redeveloped in a 5.6 million scheme.
Fitzalan Square will be redeveloped in a 5.6 million scheme.
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New details of multi-million pound schemes to improve public spaces in Sheffield city centre have been revealed.

The city council is working to freshen up various areas as part of an ongoing redevelopment plan across the city centre.

An early version of how the square could look.

An early version of how the square could look.

A key project is Fitzalan Square, which is often cited as a gathering place for street drinkers and a no-go zone for shoppers.

The council revealed a £5.6 million plan to redesign the area earlier this year as part of the wider ‘knowledge gateway’ scheme running from the square and along Pond Street to Brown Street and Paternoster Row in the Cultural Industries Quarter.

And plans submitted this week show just what the authority hopes to do.

The main aim is to turn Fitzalan Square into a pedestrianised area, replacing the traffic island layout.

Charter Square is also being redeveloped.

Charter Square is also being redeveloped.

There would only be one road through the square, along the western side next to what is currently Cash Shop, and a wider junction with High Street.

The four mature London Place trees would be cut down and replaced by up to 11 new trees, providing a ‘limited screen’ between the pedestrianised area and the road.

Walkers and cyclists would be directed between High Street and Arundel Gate via a redesigned Esperanto Place, opening up an area that is currently subject to littering and loitering.

In order to do this, 31 Esperanto Place - currently a takeaway - and 33/35 Arundel Gate - currently a shop - would be demolished.

The council says the work would bring many more people to the square and could help create up to 4,000 new jobs.

A planning statement attached to the new application says: “By creating a new pedestrian space for the city, it is hoped this will encourage more pedestrians to enter and remain in the square and thereby lead to the regeneration of the surrounding area.”

Fitzalan Square contains a number of grade II-listed sites including the statue of Edward VII, the White Building built in 1908 and the Head Post Office, which is now the Sheffield Institute of Arts.

Another public area undergoing a transformation is Charter Square. What was once a roundabout and subway is being replaced with a single road with public areas on either side

The area next to Debenhams is almost complete and just needs planting. But the council has now approved details for the other side, next to the new retail quarter building, which include lighting, pathways, materials and bike stands. The whole scheme should be ready in 2019.

A council spokesman said: "Charter Square south new public spaces are substantially complete except for trees and plants which will be installed during October.

"The scheme has cost £7.3m funded by the city council and the Sheffield City Region.

"Charter Square north will be completed in winter 2019/20 in time for the opening of the new offices and retail building which forms the first stage of the retail quarter.

"The reshaping of Fitzalan Square forms part of the proposed knowledge gateway project which will cost an estimated £5.7m to be funded by the city council, Hallam University and the city region. Subject to approvals it is expected to start in mid-2018."