Sheffield firm’s student flats plan row

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A Sheffield businesswoman has raised concerns that her company may be kicked out of its rented premises if an application to turn it into student flats is approved.

Helen Gilder, of Zoo Digital Group in The Tower, Furnival Square, said the student accommodation would mean their office space on the sixth to ninth floors would be lost.

In a planning document, she said: “We would be required to move at considerable expense and inconvenience. We have resided in the property for many years and have arranged our business as such with no plans to move.”

But developer and landlord Paul Williams said he is in regular negotiations with Zoo regarding its future in the building after the firm approached him.

He said: “I’m not turfing them out of the building at all – their lease is coming to an end. I just need to do something with the building because it’s less than 50 per cent occupied. I’m trying to make a building viable.”

If approved, the former AEEU Union Building would be converted into 17 apartments for students with a games room, laundry and parking spaces in the basement.

Ms Gilder was unavailable for further comment.

n Bells Court on Bells Square is set to be converted into 39 student flats if a planning application is approved.

n Plans have also been submitted to demolish Lynthorpe House on Charlotte Road and replace it with nine student flats.