Thumbs-up for plans to replace Debenhams with two towers in Sheffield

Plans to demolish the former Debenhams on The Moor and replace it with flats, offices and a hotel have been welcomed by Sheffield City Council.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 10:05 am

The authority wrote to owners MHA stating it is ‘broadly in agreement’ with plans for 'demolition and redevelopment to comprise two buildings of approximately 22 and 34 storeys for mixed-use retail, food and beverage, leisure, residential, office, hotel and public realm’.

This ‘pre-app advice’ is seen as incredibly valuable since it allows a move away from its use as a department store.

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The former Debenhams on The Moor could be replaced by two towers.

MHA bought the building for £1.5m in March last year but has given up trying to find a tenant and is selling the building at auction.

The much higher guide price of £4.5-£5m reflects the new potential of the site.

In a letter to MHA, Eleanor Ridge, the council’s principal planning officer development management, states: ‘I can confirm that we are broadly in agreement with the summary provided’.

She adds: ‘We agree with the summary that there is scope on the site for a tall building and that there is local precedent - but that it will be necessary to test this impact on medium and longer distance views.

A view back towards the front door and daylight.

‘It is also agreed that it is necessary to test the environmental impacts of the proposed tall buildings on matters such as daylight/sunlight and wind/microclimate to ensure that the resulting environment is satisfactory.

‘We would support the proposed review of the building form, footprint, the character areas of the city and the impact upon local heritage assets as part of the design development.

‘We also welcome a greater articulation of the design drivers as they are refined and considered as part of the process, following on from our discussions in the meeting’.

Agents marketing the former Debenhams in Sheffield city centre are speaking to two potential occupiers.

The advice is not planning permission.

Last month a spokesman for MHA said: “We have decided to take our leasehold interest of the former Debenhams department store in Sheffield City Centre to the market.

“We feel the asset may benefit from a strategic investor who could potentially unlock and deliver a substantial redevelopment of the site.

There are 42 years left on the lease, he added.

Debenhams closed on May 15 last year. It was among 118 shut down by administrators with the loss of 12,000 jobs.

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