Student flats complex plans deferred over affordable housing offer

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Plans for a  towering complex of student apartments overlooking The Moor in Sheffield has hit a snag after councillors said they were not happy with the developers’ affordable housing offering.

Developers want to build apartments with 860 beds and a 17 storey tower on the site of the long-established Stokes Tiles on Moore Street, spreading out to Fitzwilliam Street and Thomas Street.

The site, opposite Atkinsons and Wickes, would include Stokes Tiles and empty warehouses. The Grade II listed Taylors Eyewitness Works is on neighbouring Milton Street.

The complex would include four buildings with 268 studios and 87 apartments offering between two and eight bedrooms.

There would be communal facilities including a coffee shop, spaces to study, dine and socialise, a gym, cinema, laundry and games area, party room, table tennis terrace, shared courtyard, outdoor basketball court and roof terraces.

Councillors praised the development in general, but Councillor Peter Rippon, co chairman of Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee proposed to defer any decision until developers came back with a better offer.

They had claimed that the site was not appropriate for affordable housing and had offered a sum of £600,000 towards the authority’s building fund - almost £800,000 short of the £1.37m the council was expecting.

Coun Rippon said: “It is happening all too often where developers offer nothing or half of what we should actually get and we need to put a marker down as Sheffield is short of affordable housing.

“I welcome the development but we never had a developer come back to us after one of these builds to say they’d made more than predicted and offered us an extra £500,000.”

Developers will now renegotiate the affordable housing offer with council officers before the plans are reconsidered at a future date.

Councillor Peter Price, who also sits on the committee, said that Sheffield city centre already has too much purpose built student accommodation.

“Are we not reaching a saturation point with these developments,” he said. “When are we going to say enough is enough?”