Public inquiry date set to discuss £175 million Sheffield city centre development

A public inquiry will be held next month over plans to build a £175 million development in Sheffield city centre.

By Sam Cooper
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 10:41

Notices have been attached to lamp-posts surrounding West Bar Square, where a huge complex including offices, homes, a four-star hotel, shops and restaurants is planned.

Developer Urbo was granted outline planning permission for the huge project in February 2017 on the largely derelict site.

How the new development could look (CGI provided by Urbo)

The latest notices state it is seeking 2.97 hectares of land between the law courts and Corporation Street.

Business affected by the compulsory purchase order include car rental firm Europcar and Hawley’s Tyres and Exhausts.

The notices, written by the Planning Inspectorate, state a public local inquiry will be held at Sheffield Citadel Salvation Army, on Psalter Lane, Sheffield, on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

Public inquiries are held in more complex planning cases where legal issues may need to be considered.

West Bar Square lies next to the Riverside Business District, where the Home Office and law firm Irwin Mitchell are based, and the development is seen as the latest phase in the regeneration of what had become a run-down area.

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The notice, signed by case officer Kevin Gordon, said: “Sheffield City Council [...] has submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for confirmation of an Order made by them under section 226 (10(a)) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, section 13 of 1981, which would authorise them to acquire compulsorily the land and new rights over land referred to in the Schedule hereto for the purpose(s) of delivering a comprehensive mixed use development.”

Previous proposals for West Bar were drawn up more than six years ago by a company called Castlemore.

But the business collapsed when the recession hit, and now a new deal has been signed with Chesterfield firm Urbo Regeneration.

West Bar Square is envisaged as the city’s ‘premier business destination’, providing large office buildings of the type required by large occupiers such as law firms and technology companies.

The scheme will help to expand the city centre and will be based around a landscaped square, on a similar scale to Millennium Square and St Paul’s Place, surrounded by cafes, shops, restaurants, a hotel and apartments.

The Star has contacted Urbo for comment and is awaiting a response.