Underground tram system and 'highest building in Europe' mooted for Sheffield
A councillor called for Sheffield to get an underground tram system and the highest building in Europe.
Councillor Chris Rosling-Josephs made the suggestions at the first meeting of the climate change, economy and development transitional committee this week during a discussion on a central area strategy.
He said: “One of the things I’ve shouted about for a long time on planning is the fact that we haven’t got an outstanding high rise multi-functional building in the city. A building that could be retail, office, residential and a hotel development in one.
“A mega stand out building that people can say ‘wow look at that, they have got that in Sheffield. It’s the highest in Europe, it outstrips London, it outstrips Leeds.’
“Something special that people could say ‘that is an iconic building for Sheffield’. I’ve said that for years.”
Then he said: “We have seriously got to look at how public transport is used in the city and I will say this: it doesn’t necessarily have to be on the surface. We could look at sticking that tram system underground … We could have trams running along Pinstone Street and we wouldn’t see them because they would be underground. Just a thought for the future.
“It’s expensive but it’s something that a 21st century city should be looking at. A metro system doesn’t just have to be on the surface, it could be underground as well.”
Nalin Seneviratne, director of city centre development, said: “A massive high rise? I don’t know. The viability of those things is very challenging. The plans that have been put forward in this city for many massive high rises haven’t come forward.
“The most recent one was down at the old Primark site at Castlegate. Effectively they got planning consent then put it on the market so that then secures a valuable consent for them. The ability for those schemes to come forward is challenging.”
He added: “Being able to put a tram underground, that’s not a question for this city centre plan. It could be an aspiration but, again, it’s a very expensive system. Ultimately, it might come because what you do need is that densification of residential occupation and workspace occupation in order to make those systems work and make them financially viable.”