Opinion: Deliver or disappear

The Star: Opinion.
The Star: Opinion.
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At last, at very long last, developer Hammerson has been given a deadline which is final. The firm which has refused to commit to Sheffield must now deliver or depart.

It has been told to get Sevenstone, the retail plan which is integral to this city becoming a shopping success, off the drawing board and onto the high street. And if this does not happen by the end of this month, Hammerson is history. We have been calling for such an ultimatum for years. There has been far too much delay and far too many excuses in this sorry saga so we hope this final demand gets the response Sheffield needs. Either Hammerson delivers, which seems unlikely after the company failed to list our city in its to-do list, or an alternative plan is drawn up. Such a plan should bring in different developers to break up what has increasingly appeared to be an unwieldy scheme and develop smaller sites. This would sit well with the shopping masterplan unveiled this week based around boutiques and specialist shops. We need progress - and it sounds like we are finally going to get action not words.

Trials help save lives

Last year more than 12,000 hospital patients took part in clinical trials in Sheffield. It’s an impressive figure - and it’s even more impressive to think that, of the millions of medical treatments which are offered to patients daily around the world, each is only deemed suitable for use thanks to volunteers who sign up for clinical trials. We have excellent hospitals in this city and they earn this reputation by helping with these trials, but the trials are only as good as the volunteers. Great-grandfather John Hobson is now testing his third experimental treatment in as many years and to mark International Clinical Trials Day tells of how he thought there was ‘never any other option’ but to offer his help. That’s the approach that’s needed if doctors are to improve treatments for deadly diseases - or potentially cure them once and for all.