Plans for a huge industrial park on the site of a former steelworks on the outskirts of Sheffield have been given the go-ahead - potentially creating thousands of extra jobs.
Peel Logistics plan to build the 838,000 sq ft park on the site of the former Outokumpu steelworks, in Shepcote Lane, which “will breathe new life and employment opportunities back into a 50-acre brownfield site”.
But councillors at a meeting of Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee were told that the plans would increase traffic congestion around Junction 34 of the M1 - already problematic due to Meadowhall and Ikea.
Council officer Helen Johnson told the meeting: “We have got issues around Junction 34. Highways England have become more and more concerned about the impact, particularly with traffic queueing back onto the main line.
“There will be an impact but not a severe impact. There were concerns about the impact of the Ikea application, but the impact of Ikea hasn’t been as extensive or severe as anticipated.”
The development will progress over two phases - the first to include two separate units, one of 4,174 square metres, and the second of 12,441 square metres.
The application also includes provision for 195 parking spaces, and the site would be accessed from Shepcote Lane.
Outline planning consent was also approved for the second, larger phase of the development.
Phase two will comprise “approximately 14 hectares of land,” the planning report states, “comprising three units with 599 parking spaces”.
Councillors raised concerns about traffic build-up, as well as increased emissions in the area - with Green Councillor Rob Murphy voting against the application.
Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Andrew Sangar MBE said: “This is a site that needs to be brought back into use. I have huge concerns about the highways and in terms of air quality, we have to carry on with that battle. Air quality is a huge problem for the city.
“But this is a way of redeveloping this site and we need to get it back into use.”
The meeting also heard that an acoustic screen will be erected to protect neighbouring residential properties from noise nuisance, and that it was expected to create around 2,000 jobs.
Last year the site was bought by Peel Logistics Property for £8.5m, after Outokumpu put it on the market in October 2015.
The giant plot in Tinsley was once home to more than a dozen buildings where thousands worked. They were razed in 2011 and the site cleared.
Speaking after the decision, taken at a meeting of the council’s planning and highways committee, Neil Dickinson from Peel Logistics said: “This is great news for Sheffield. We are very pleased to have secured planning permission on this prime site, which is ideally positioned to serve both national and urban logistics occupiers as well as the local and regional market.
“This is another positive step in our strategy to grow Peel Logistics Property into a leading UK logistics real estate development and investment management business.”