Key Sheffield square is 'admission of guilt' after lying empty for 15 years

A key Sheffield square which has been empty for 15 years should be redeveloped urgently, an opposition councillor claims.

By David Walsh
Friday, 25th June 2021, 8:28 am

Lib Dem leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said Sheaf Square was a constant reminder of the city’s failure to move forward. And he criticised the authority for not having a Plan ‘B’.

The large plot outside Sheffield Midland Station has been empty for 15 years. Council documents for the redevelopment of the area show two office buildings on the plot, a large footbridge and shops underneath.

The £1.5bn Sheaf Valley redevelopment framework was launched last year to make the most of HS2 - not set to arrive in Yorkshire for 20 years.

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Google Earth image showing the large empty plot in front of Midland Station.

Coun Mohammed said it was important to do something now.

He added: “We have a massive development site sat there and the only plan is HS2. Is there no Plan ‘B’?

“It’s a constant reminder for people arriving in the city that Sheffield is not open for business.

“It’s a prime site, it needs something. The plans show two buildings - let’s get them up.”

Lib Dem leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed. Picture: Chris Etchells

Coun Mohammed added: “We have a massive problems with air quality and taxis idling. The site could at least help alleviate some of the problems. Instead it’s a forgotten piece of land no one wants.

“We are very good in this city in bringing forward plan and having a great fanfare for a week or so, then it’s back to normal and nothing happens. Sheaf Square is an admission of failure.”

A council spokeswoman said: “A fundamental part of the Framework is the creation of a new wider and safer landscaped bridge across the valley.

"It will extend the Gold Route eastwards rising gently up from Sheaf Street, along the western edge of Sheaf Square, over the station platforms and new Inner Relief Road towards Park Hill and Norfolk Park.

Taxis queue up outside Sheffield station adjacent to the disused plot. Picture Scott Merrylees

“Working with the natural gradient of the valley, the bridge will be open 24 hours every day and will create a bold new addition to the city’s walking and cycling networks.

“Beneath the bridge, and a podium built as part of the adjacent development, retail and leisure opportunities will open out onto Sheaf Square and connect with the transformation of Cross Turner Street. Sheaf Square will be revitalised and, with the cross-valley connection, be the catalyst for redeveloping adjacent land.”

Impression of a redeveloped Midland Station including large footbridge and two offices on Sheaf Square.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.