Riverside paths in Sheffield city centre could be connected with new footpath
Plans to provide a missing link between two riverside paths in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter have been welcomed.
The planning board agreed an application from the council itself to demolish the former AVEC Building on Sidney Street and carry out site restoration works.
The building backs onto the Porter Brook between the popular Matilda Street pocket park and the Yorkshire Art Space Studios on Brown Street, which also has a riverside walk generally open when the studios are in use.
The Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust and 55 others did not object to the demolition of the vacant building but urged the council to use the opportunity to link the two riverside paths.
The Trust says a grant of up to £350,000 is available from the Sheffield City Region to fund it.
Trust chairman Simon Ogden said: “We understand that the site is to be marketed for redevelopment and this could eventually result in the path being provided by a developer but that could be anything between two and five years off, given the current economic climate and the recent pace of development on other nearby sites with similar planning conditions.
“The Porter Brook suffers from so many of these missing links. The council has the land so why not put this one in now to a safe but basic standard as part of the planned restoration works to allow people to enjoy it now? Both the council and City Region are prioritising active travel and this is an easy win.”
The Trust and local businesses say connecting the two riverside spaces will also tackle antisocial behaviour which is due to the lack of footfall in evenings and weekends.
Alex Barlow, chief brewer of the Triple Point Brewery and bar on Shoreham Street, said: “Once current temporary restrictions are relaxed this riverside route will also help bring people to the growing number of bars, cafes and studios in this part of the city centre which could be as popular as Kelham Island.”
The Trust says it’s looking forward to discussions with the council and City Region.