A prominent and long empty site opposite Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield is to be revived with a £25 million development of shops, drive-through restaurants, warehouses and more, creating 250 jobs.
The 10-acre plot on Penistone Road North – a triangular piece of industrial land bounded by Herries Road and Herries Road South – was once the home of the Kennings Truck Centre, which closed in the mid-1980s.
Presently part of the space is used as a car park on Sheffield Wednesday match days.
Now Ecclesfield-based developer Jaguar Estates owns the site with London firm Bridges Fund Management. The company has lodged a planning application with the council to put up three retail units, eight storage and distribution units, two drive-through restaurants and one vehicle maintenance and repair facility. There would also be parking, access roads and the necessary changes to junctions.
National chains have expressed an interest in moving in – potential occupiers include a discount food store, a coffee shop and builders’ merchants.
Jaguar Estates director Patrick Herbert said the scheme would lead to ‘the physical improvement of the area and job creation’.
“It’s just a positive statement on Penistone Road where there’s still a number of sites which are lying derelict,” he said.
“The north of Sheffield seems to have been fairly neglected over the years.”
Mr Herbert said Asda’s store at Parson Cross had been ‘an improvement’, while the Kilner Way retail park and the large Sainsbury’s at Wadsley Bridge were performing well.
“Kilner Way is nearly 100 per cent full, the Sainsbury’s seems to be trading better – they would all benefit from related trips from shoppers in that area.”
He said Penistone Road offered a substantial amount of passing trade. “It’s the busiest road in the city, with a massive catchment.”
Jaguar Estates bought the site from former landowners Tesco as part of a consortium four years ago. In 2003 a bid by Tesco to open a superstore there was rejected by the city council.
The new plans have shifted as market conditions have changed, Mr Herbert explained. “There’s still strong retail interest in the site, so it would be part retail, but the majority of it trade use.”
He said the venture would ‘without a doubt’ act as a catalyst, spurring on other projects.
“We did the development on the other corner, where Yesss Electrical and Screwfix are. We did that and that gave us the confidence to do this one. That went very well.”
If planning permission is granted this summer, work would start by the end of this year, with an estimated opening date of autumn 2020.
Jaguar Estates deals with both residential and commercial schemes.
“We try to develop in good locations where there’s a strong demand,” said Mr Herbert. “On Penistone Road there’s very strong demand for commercial space.”
He said there is a ‘fair amount going on’ in Sheffield generally.
“It shows the confidence in the market when private development companies are prepared to commit to schemes from start to finish in good locations like Penistone Road. It's good when you can be making your own mark on the busiest road in the city. Development will create further impetus and confidence for other people to move forward with their own sites. It’s positive that something is happening in north Sheffield to complement what has already been done.”
And, the Owls supporter emphasised, the site is across from the club’s Hillsborough ground, ‘which is always a benefit’.