‘No concrete date’ set for work on Sevenstone

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DEVELOPERS set to build Sheffield’s long-awaited Sevenstone retail quarter say they have ‘no concrete start date’ and have not mentioned the project in their latest report to the stock market.

Sheffield Council wants work on the £300 million scheme to begin in 2014 so that the project can take advantage of a Government scheme where more than £30 million can be borrowed against future tax receipts.

But developer Hammerson’s latest interim management statement does not list the Sheffield scheme among its developments while mentioning projects in other parts of the country.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “We are still in discussions with Sheffield City Council about the revised Sevenstone scheme.

“What is key to moving forward is investigating retailer demand and what rents retailers are prepared to pay.

“We will also have to obtain revised planning permission before proceeding.

“No concrete start date has been set.”

Hammerson’s website still states the scheme is due to start in 2014.

Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member responsible for business and development, said: “We are still in discussions with Hammerson about Sevenstone and are moving forward quite positively.

“We very much want a 2014 start date and do not believe any other date would be acceptable.

“We are keeping all options open at the moment and, while it is not helpful to make ultimatums, if we don’t get a 2014 start we will look at all options including bringing in an alternative developer.”

John Mothersole, the council’s chief executive, added: “We are putting pressure on Hammerson and have held constructive talks.

“We are going to build a new retail scheme and we want it to be with Hammerson due to their expertise but if it can’t be with them we will look at other developers.”