Developer ups social housing offer for student flats complex

Developers who want to build a towering complex of student apartments overlooking The Moor in Sheffield have increased their financial offer after councillors said they were not happy with the proposed affordable housing contribution.

Thursday, 19th July 2018, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th July 2018, 12:52 pm
An artist impression of the student complex

They want to build apartments with 860 beds and a 17 storey tower on the site of the long-established Stokes Tiles on Moore Street, spreading out to Fitzwilliam Street and Thomas Street.

As there is no affordable housing allocation in the development, the developer is required to make a cash contribution to social housing elsewhere in the city.

They had initially offered a sum of £600,000 towards the authority’s building fund - almost £800,000 short of the £1.37m the council was expecting.

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Council officers are now recommending an updated offer of £865,000 - still £505,000 short of what councillors had demanded.

The site, opposite Atkinsons and Wickes, would include Stokes Tiles and empty warehouses. The Grade II listed Taylors Eyewitness Works is on neighbouring Milton Street.

The complex would include four buildings with 268 studios and 87 apartments offering between two and eight bedrooms.

There would be communal facilities including a coffee shop, spaces to study, dine and socialise, a gym, cinema, laundry and games area, party room, table tennis terrace, shared courtyard, outdoor basketball court and roof terraces.

Councillors praised the development in general, but at last month’s planning and highways committee meeting, Councillor Peter Rippon, co chairman of Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee proposed to defer any decision until developers came back with a better offer.

Coun Rippon said: “It is happening all too often where developers offer nothing or half of what we should actually get and we need to put a marker down as Sheffield is short of affordable housing.

“I welcome the development but we never had a developer come back to us after one of these builds to say they’d made more than predicted and offered us an extra £500,000.”

The plans will again be considered at the next meeting of Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee, where it is recommended for approval.

The latest planning report states: “The applicant has agreed to a contribution of £865,000 towards the provision of affordable housing in the city.

“This aligns with the recommendations of the council’s independent surveyor based on the applicant’s 27 month build programme.

“It is therefore concluded that this is a major regeneration scheme which will deliver significant benefits for the city and represents sustainable development when considered in the round.”