Chapel Walk traders will get financial support, says Sheffield Council

Sheffield Council has confirmed traders blighted by scaffolding on Chapel Walk will get financial help.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said they would reduce business rates by 15 percent and developers had agreed to provide compensation.

Carl Dunne, of Cards and Gifts, raised the issue at a full council meeting after suffering a 35 percent loss in profit. He said he has applied for support but was told “we’re not helping you, you do not warrant or justify help.”

He said he was now being forced to consider closing down.

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But Coun Iqbal said support was on the way. At the meeting he said: “It is unfortunate that you are back here…

“Following discussions, the valuation agency office has confirmed a 15 percent reduction (in business rates).

“The developer has also agreed to compensate you a sum of money which is commercially sensitive.

“Once we’ve got all this information we will then sit back down and see what support or exemptions the business rates department can give. It’s important that every business follows this process and that’s what we’ve done.”

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The scaffolding was initially put up in September 2017 for the development of a £4.6 million scheme for student apartments. But it has progressed at a snail’s pace and faced problems with asbestos and a change in developers.

As a result, traders say the street has become a mess with regular drug dealing, anti social behaviour and break ins as well as significant losses in trade.

Earlier this year the council issued an enforcement notice and threatened to remove the scaffolding themselves and make developers pay. However it has now said they are confident the developer will soon resume work on the scaffolding.

Coun Iqbal added: “It’s an unfortunate situation whereby if we take the scaffolding down the developer will come back to finish the development and have to put the scaffolding up again. For me and this council we want to see the least disruption to traders so to have it pulled down and put back up isn’t good for anybody.

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“If the developer for whatever reason says they are in the same position as they were last year then we are prepared to take the scaffolding down and make the building safe.”

Contractors Head Office 3 said they were aiming to start work on the site again from October 21.