Councillors unanimously gave lift off to a major research campus on the former Sheffield City airport – which is set to create thousands of jobs.
University of Sheffield plans for its multi-million pound second Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, or AMRC, were described as helping give the ‘outdoor city a heart of steel’ by one committee member.
The proposal is for nine hi-tech buildings on the site beside the Parkway, which is on green belt land.
But Sheffield Council’s planning and highways committee was told that the scheme amounted to ‘very special circumstances’ which allowed for building in green belt.
Reports said it will create 1,500 construction jobs and another 1,515 roles when open, but the meeting was told the ‘maximum benefits’ would be around 4,400 jobs.
Coun Bryan Lodge said it would create ‘jobs that are desperately needed’.
Coun Roger Davison added: “I think apart from being the outdoor city, we need to be called the outdoor city with a heart of steel.”
The scheme follows the university’s existing AMRC on the Rotherham side of the Parkway, which has more than 40 hi-tech companies. In future it is hoped it will be part of an advanced manufacturing innovation district – hailed as a ‘next generation Silicon Valley.’
Keith Lilley, the university’s director of estates and facilities management, said after the meeting that the decision was ‘fantastic news.’