Go-ahead for Sheffield student flats

Coun Alan Law
Coun Alan Law
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Singapore-based developers have finally got the go-ahead for two towers of student flats alongside retirement apartments and a care home.

The 341-bed complex, next to Hyde Park flats, will be part of a development due to replace the Globe II Business Centre, off Maltravers Road, Wybourn.

Planning committee members granted the application despite the fears of Sheffield Hallam University that the city was being saturated with students flats, and it warning there were ‘many’ empty beds last year. The university also said there were more suitable locations.

But council officers said they had been told by the applicant there was a market for student flats in the area, which is no further away from universities than existing student accommodation such as Ranmoor and Endcliffe Villages.

The authority has also been told the student flats could, if needed, be converted to two and three-bedroom apartments without structural alterations.

The overall development, it said, would bring ‘significant investment’, replacing ‘unattractive’ commercial buildings with buildings of a high quality and contemporary design.

Planning committee chair Coun Alan Law said the designs had been improved since the application was deferred by councillors last December and he welcomed the investment.

“I am really impressed,” he said.

“We have now got something better and it’s looking really good. Without a doubt it will upgrade the area and there are some wonderful views from there.”

Initially, the project started as solely student accommodation – 641 beds – and was costed at around £25m.

Then it was altered to reduce the number of student beds and to add a 60-bed care home and 29 retirement apartments to make it more of a mixed community.

Finally, the heights of the proposed student tower blocks were reduced to 11 and eight storeys, and the number of student beds was reduced from 452 to 341.

Behind the scheme is Forward Realty Ltd, which is based in Singapore and is working with Sheffield-based Axis Architecture.