Park Hill student flats plan approved

The Park Hill flats
The Park Hill flats
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Plans for the next phase in the redevelopment of Sheffield’s iconic Park Hill flats - providing living accommodation for students - have been given the green light.

An application for The third phase of the redevelopment was submitted to Sheffield City Council by Alumno Student Developments Limited and Urban Splash as joint applicants, detailing a total of “74 student accommodation units”, and will be considered by the council’s planning and highways committee at a meeting next week.

Developers also applied to create a range of mixed-use commercial space around South Block, where the student accommodation would be housed, car parking spaces and cycle storage.

Phase 2 of the plans -to provide almost 200 residential units, commercial space and car parking - was approved in 2017 and work is set to begin this year. The first phase - which saw the regeneration of 263 flats, of which almost 100 were classed as affordable homes - was completed in March 2016.

“The proposed development comprises of external and internal alterations to the building for use as 74 student cluster flats (356 bedspaces), 350m² of flexible ground floor commercial space and a cycle store for 196 cycle spaces,” the planning report states.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s planning and highways committee on Tuesday, July 24, Councillor Mike Chaplin said: “This scheme has a lot to commend it. These flats were something that were quite unique to Sheffield when they were first designed. There are mixed feelings out there but there’s a lot of affection for them out there. They define the landscape of central Sheffield.”

But Councillor Jack Clarkson, who opposed the application, said there was too much student accommodation in the city centre.

He said: “I am concerned that we are being asked to approve student accommodation. I have nothing against students, but it concerns me as we are supposed to be creating communities in Sheffield and there’s a shortage of residential accommodation, and we need to be looking at homes for young families in the city.”

The flats have become a regular feature of film and television, with Doctor Who using them as a location for scenes, as well as Sheffield-based Warp’s Ghost Stories, starring Martin Freeman, and in a feature film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story How to Talk to Girls at Parties, where it doubles as a Croydon housing estate.

They are also featured in an Arctic Monkeys video and are referenced in the Pulp track ‘Sheffield Sex City’.

The application was approved with conditions at the meeting, which took place at Sheffield Town Hall.