Next phase of ‘new town centre’ for Stocksbridge to start after land sale

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Land needed to make sure a major Sheffield regeneration scheme goes ahead has been sold after months of talks.

Work on the next stage of development at Fox Valley in Stocksbridge - a mixed use scheme of shops, offices and nearby homes that aims to create a new town centre.

Tesco was planning to open a large anchor store there as part of the £50m project but pulled out in January as part of money-saving measures the supermarket giant took across the country.

Since then, developers Dransfield Properties and Tesco have been locked in talks about selling the land so that the biggest Aldi store in the region can be built there.

Sheffield Council took the step of approving a compulsory purchase order that could force the sale of the land if that became necessary to secure the development, although chiefs said it was not expected to be needed.

Dransfield has now confirmed that the land has been purchased from Tesco.

It means work on the next phase of the development, which is to deliver a third retail block for the 20,000 square foot Aldi, can begin in mid-September.

That £12 million phase is scheduled for completion in May 2016, when the entire scheme is set to open its doors.

Managing director of Barnsley-based Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield, said: “It is great news that we can now announce a start on site on the third block of the main retail site.

“This means that the main construction work on the whole of the Fox Valley development can be delivered in time for opening next May.”

The development is to be in a horseshoe style, designed around a new 600 space car park.

It is to include 32 new retail units, a cafes and restaurant as well as offices.

A health centre is to open there later in 2016, and in the same building there will be a pharmacy, coffee shop and two shops.

New housing with 114 homes is to be built nearby.

South Yorkshire firm Henry Boot Construction, which says it is currently on schedule with the earlier phase of works at Fox Valley, has been awarded the contract to deliver this next part of the project.

Managing director Simon Carr said he was ‘delighted.’

Next month will also mark the release of the first phase of offices at Fox Valley with an open day taking place on September 17.

In total 900 jobs are expected to be created from the Fox Valley development and EU funding of £8.1m has been invested in it.