Retailers, councils and residents across South Yorkshire are lining up to object to Meadowhall’s extension plan, fearing it will suck even more business out of surrounding towns.
Sheffield City Council has received several letters warning the £300million scheme would harm smaller centres including The Moor in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Fox Valley in Stocksbridge.
Meadowhall joint owner British Land has submitted a planning application for a leisure hall featuring restaurants, cinema, gym and bowling alley, covered by a huge glass roof.
Protesters claim the development would be felt across the county.
Rotherham Council says it would have a ‘significant adverse impact on the viability of its town centre’ and the planned £43million Forge Island redevelopment site.
Owners of The Moor in Sheffield, Aberdeen Asset Management, has ‘concerns’ about the ‘potentially significant impact on the city centre as a whole’.
David Edwards, Doncaster Council’s chief planner, says ‘The council is concerned and would wish to be assured that the Meadowhall proposals will not have a detrimental impact on the regeneration of the town centre and the delivery of the cinema’.
Dransfield Properties, owners of the £50m Fox Valley shopping centre in Stocksbridge and the planned Waverley village centre, have also objected.
Meanwhile, resident Richard Goddard-Scanlon of Gower Way, Upper Haugh, Rotherham, wrote a letter stating: ‘This development would yet again have a massive negative economic impact on local towns. Also, traffic in this area is already out of control, Ikea being built will make this worse and if this extension gets built how will the transport network cope?
‘Sheffield already has Centertainment. Meadowhall expanding even more would be irresponsible.
‘Rotherham town centre has never fully recovered from its initial impact in the ’90s and when Rotherham announce they want to build a leisure hub on Forge Island this development appears!”
British Land declined to comment.