Work to create a £60 million development of flats, shops and offices is back on in earnest.
The Well Meadow regeneration scheme will cover a two-acre site just off Netherthorpe Road, close to Sheffield University, stretching from Radford Street to Well Meadow Street.
It is set to feature 400 student flats and 250 private residential units, along with retail space and offices. Outline planning permission was first granted five years ago for the development, which was then called Westgate.
But the recession meant the scheme was not considered viable until recently.
Earlier this year councillors approved the first phase of the project – two interlinked accommodation blocks catering for more than 300 students on the site of the old St Philips Social Club.
Manchester-based developer Panacea hoped these flats, a joint venture with a company called Worthington Properties, would act as a catalyst for the rest of the scheme.
Work has already started on the initial flats, with completion due in September 2016.
Now Sheffield Council has approved a bid to renew the original outline planning consent from 2010, which means the remaining three phases will go ahead.
Granting the renewal, planning officers admitted in a report that the large empty site which is earmarked for Well Meadow was ‘blighting the area’.
“Although the economic situation has improved somewhat, the downturn is still a barrier to investment,” officers said.
Neil Patten, Panacea’s managing director, said the company had been in talks with the council to make sure the plan was realised.
“Panacea Property Development has been working closely with the council for some time to ensure a positive outcome for the planning approach for the regeneration of this important site in the heart of Sheffield,” he said.
Mr Patten added the flats would help to provide more homes close to the city centre, as well as meeting the increasing demand for more student accommodation.
“As well as housing the growing student population, it will also give a boost to the local economy in bringing diversity of tenant mix with the inclusion of private rental units.”