'Like living in a building site' - developer responds to complaints about Sheffield city centre apartment block where flats are being let for more than £1,000 a month
Flats at a new apartment block in Sheffield city centre are being advertised for more than £1,000 a month, despite ugly metal fencing still surrounding the building and a skip outside being piled high with rubbish.
The developer of the Lightbox flats on Earl Street, Noble Design and Build, has responded after one frustrated resident spoke out following a string of one and two-star reviews.
The tenant, who asked to remain anonymous, said occupants and were fed up of waiting for the pavement outside to be completed by the builder and of walking past a skip every time they enter or leave.
He also told how they had waited months for a promised on-site gym to open, they were still waiting for a cinema room to be completed and the building was not always staffed as advertised.
“The first residents moved in during January yet the outside is still a building site with rubbish and a massive skip near the entrance,” he said.
“Tenants are paying £845+ for a luxury flat with the on-site gym and cinema not even finished as promised when they viewed.”
The Lightbox apartments have a 1.7-star average rating on Google reviews, with one person complaining about having to ‘pay full price for facilities that you can't even use’ and another bemoaning living with a ‘skip full of trash on our doorstep’.
One two-bedroom flat at the block – which is a stone’s throw from the Moor Market – is advertised on Zoopla to rent for £1,170 a month, including all bills and WiFi.
Ben Bennett, project manager for Noble Design and Build, said the pavement works had yet to begin as it was still waiting for final approval from the council, which is why the exterior remained fenced off, but the paving stones had been ordered and it should be completed in around 14 weeks.
He said tenants had been using the skip while they were waiting for Sheffield Council to install bins.
Mr Bennett said the country was still in lockdown when the first tenants moved in, meaning the gym couldn’t have opened then anyway, and there had then been a delay in equipment being delivered due to a Covid backlog but it was now fully operational.
As for the cinema room, he said this was ‘still up in the air’ due to Covid, with discussions ongoing about whether plans for the communal area should be changed but that it was only ever intended to be a room with a projector screen where tenants could plug in their laptops and watch films.
Regarding staffing, he said there were people there every day carrying out viewings, night porters patrolled this and other nearby buildings, and CCTV cameras were monitored around the clock.
Mr Bennett said the block contained 169 homes, most of which were studio or one-bedroom apartments, it was already about 60 per cent occupied and the remaining flats were almost fully booked.
“When the first residents moved in the building was complete and all the equipment was on order but unfortunately there were some delays with deliveries,” he added.
“We would have liked to have completed the pavement sooner but that’s not been possible due to council timescales and lead times for deliveries.”