Giant apartment block for 400 students planned in Sheffield city centre

The planned student apartment block on Furnival SquareThe planned student apartment block on Furnival Square
The planned student apartment block on Furnival Square
A giant 21-storey apartment block for over 400 students is planned for Sheffield city centre.

Planning permission is being sought to create the building, which will also include office space, on currently empty land by the Jurys Inn hotel at Furnival Square, close to The Moor.

Developers McAleer & Rushe have submitted plans that would include space for 412 students, with 221 studio apartments and 26 blocks with between five and nine beds in each.

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The site was previously the home of Office World, which has now been demolished.

Planning permission was granted in 2007 for offices to be built on the land, but the economic downturn since then has meant those plans have not come to fruition.

The planned tower will include 2,000 sq ft of office space on the ground floor and first floor, as well as an underground car park

Developers say the new apartment block will help Sheffield deal with expected increases in the number of students attending the city’s two universities.

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A report in support of the plans said: “The need for student accommodation in Sheffield has been reviewed when preparing this planning application. From September 2015, all restrictions on how many students each university can accept has been lifted and nationally university applications hit a record high in 2015. The lifting of the acceptance restrictions is expected to result in an increase in student numbers including in Sheffield.”

Sheffield Hallam University currently has a student population of 31,508 students and Sheffield University has a student population of 27,230.

“Both universities have expansion plans and are investing financial resources into upgrading facilities on campus.”

The report added the development will play a part in ‘freeing up’ residential properties close to the city centre to be rented out to local families instead of students.

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It said: “Student accommodation in established residential neighbourhoods can lead to a number of negative effects including an upward pressure on rents due to the high prices a number of sharing students can pay compared to a family; perceived detriment to the community cohesion of neighbourhoods due to the transitory nature of student living; community impacts of the effects of a large number of students in areas which haven’t been planned for this purpose such as parking concerns, and noise and other antisocial behaviour.

“Purpose-built student accommodation is planned to take account of student requirements and therefore should reduce the number of conflicts sometimes experienced by students in established residential neighbourhoods living alongside families and other residents.”