Frustration as plans delayed again for hundreds of homes in £100 MILLION housing estate

Construction of a £100m housing estate in Sheffield will not start until at least next year, a developer has revealed.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 8:05 am

Leeds-based Citu said it would not start on 700-home Attercliffe Waterside until it completed another project in the city centre, set to finish in 2023.

It means a much-needed new estate in an up-and-coming area of Sheffield won’t be ready until the latter half of the decade at least.

The revelation is a huge blow to the city council which launched a hunt for bidders two years ago - when figures showed Sheffield was 20,000 homes short.

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Coun Mohammed Mahroof.

And it has prompted opposition councillor, Lib Dem Mohammed Mahroof to question whether the company really wants the job.

Attercliffe Waterside is a 22-acre brownfield site centred on the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal and Woodbourn Road.

It was put up for sale in March 2019 by three landowners, the Duke of Norfolk, Sheffield City Council and the Canal & River Trust. It swiftly attracted nine bids and a winner was set to be announced that summer, but the announcement was delayed twice. A year later - summer 2020 - an enquiry from The Star revealed Citu was the ‘preferred bidder’.

This week, a Citu spokeswoman said it was a ‘highly complex scheme’ and the sale of the land had yet to go through.

Attercliffe Waterside.

She added: “Discussions are well advanced about how this is structured and phased. Once the development agreement has been finalised with the landowners, the acquisition will take place and the planning application will be submitted.”

The firm, an eco-homes specialist, has two other projects in Sheffield. The 153-home ‘Little Kelham’ is close to completion after seven years.

And the just announced ‘Kelham Central’ is set to have 114 residential units between Alma, Russell and Cotton streets.

The spokeswoman said they expected to finish in Kelham before starting in Attercliffe.

Chris Thompson, managing director of Citu.

She added: “A timeline for Attercliffe includes acquisition, funding, remediation, existing buildings refurbished and infrastructure installed in advance of construction commencing, so there is a lot of work to do in order to get this project up and running.

“Citu employs around 40 people in Sheffield and it’s important to retain their skills and roles in the local economy. Citu is working hard to ensure that there is continuity of work for these trades and that the precursors to starting construction at Attercliffe are fast tracked as quickly as possible.

“We understand people are eager to see progress but as planning has not yet been submitted it would be premature to give any completion dates for this scheme. Kelham Central is scheduled to complete in 2023.”

Coun Mahroof said if organisations really wanted a development a deal could be done ‘in 24 hours’.

He added: “Do they really want it? If you have doubts about something you push it back and back. All involved should be completely transparent about what is going on.”

The need for housing was ‘absolutely urgent’, he added.

The city needed 20,000 homes ‘now’ and 2,500 every year to meet demand.

He added: “If Citu isn’t going to do it, just walk away and get someone else who can.”

Sheffield City Council and MP Clive Betts were contacted for comment.

Jeremy Robinson, of commercial agent Fowler Sandford, who represents the Duke of Norfolk, said: “No comment.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.