This is what the next two buildings in Sheffield's £500m Heart of the City II transformation will look like

Sheffield Council is pressing ahead with a £500 million revamp of the city centre by unveiling plans for the next two buildings - which will bring up to 14 shops, 50 apartments and over 37,500 sq ft of premium office space.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 15:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 15:26 pm

Blocks B and C of Heart of the City II - otherwise known as Laycock House and the Pepper Pot - sit either side of Charles Street along Pinstone Street.

Designs have been drawn up that involve keeping attractive façades and other historic parts of the buildings, while creating completely new, modern sections. A public consultation has started with events taking place next week ahead of a planning application being submitted in October.

An artist's impression of the Pepperpot Block, between Pinstone Street, Cambridge Street and Charles Street - part of Heart of the City II in Sheffield.

Heart of the City II will contain retail units, hotels, Grade A workspaces, leisure facilities and cafés on 1.5 million sq ft of land between Barker's Pool, The Moor and Wellington Street. The scheme - formerly known as the Sheffield Retail Quarter - is the successor to Sevenstone, the shopping district that stalled during the recession and was dropped five years ago when the council decided to go it alone.

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The first Heart of the City brought the Winter Garden, Millennium Gallery, Peace Gardens and the offices of St Paul's Place. The initial stage of its sequel, an £85m block that will provide a base for 2,700 HSBC workers on top of commercial units in a radically overhauled Charter Square, is on course to be finished in January.

Laycock House is situated on the corner of Cross Burgess Street. The proposal is to retain Laycock House itself - a strong example of a Victorian building that has survived virtually unaltered - but to demolish the rest of the premises and create a brand-new building in its place. 

In total, this entire block would contain up to nine retail units on the ground floor, fronting onto Pinstone Street, with residential space above. Fifty apartments are planned across seven floors, ranging from studios to three-bed apartments. There are separate plans for the distinctive former Salvation Army Citadel nearby.

The Laycock House block. Picture: Chris Etchells

The Pepper Pot is further down Pinstone Street towards The Moor. The idea is to keep the exterior, but completely rebuild everything behind it to create a new office building with five retail units on the ground floor. The development would step up in height, from three storeys to eight storeys, including more than 37,500 sq ft of Grade A offices.

Taken together, phase one and blocks B and C will provide around 67,500 sq ft of retail space - as many as 22 new units - 200,000 sq ft of offices and 37,000 sq ft of residential accommodation. The mixed-use approach, which shifts the focus from relying solely on shops as consumer habits change, will drive footfall and make the city centre more vibrant, it is thought.

Blueprints have been produced by Leonard Design Architects and the council's partner, real estate firm Queensberry, is leading discussions with potential occupiers.

Detailed plans for future stages - including a high-end food hall at the listed, Grade II* listed Leah's Yard on Cambridge Street - are expected to emerge at a later date. Traditional street patterns are being followed and John Lewis, which would have moved to a brand new department store in Sevenstone, is staying put in Barker's Pool.

An artist's impression giving an aerial view of the complete Heart of the City II masterplan in Sheffield.

People can see the proposals and give their views to the project team next Tuesday, September 11 from 4.30pm to 7pm at The Art House on Backfields, and next Wednesday, September 12 from 11.30am to 4pm, at the Winter Garden.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment: "I am delighted to see the plans for the next stages of Heart of the City II come forward. The two blocks will transform the Pinstone Street retail scene and add more much-needed quality office and residential space at the same time. 

"The council is keen to retain as much of the city's heritage as possible throughout this project. We have worked hard to see the retention of the Pinstone Street frontage whilst delivering new transformational development for the area. 

"The public consultation phase is a very important step and we are keen to know the thoughts of Sheffield residents and local businesses, so we will then be able to incorporate these ideas and comments in our final planning applications."

An artist's impression of the Laycock Block, with Cross Burgess Street to the north, Pinstone Street to the east and Charles Street to the west - part of Heart of the City II in Sheffield.
The Pepper Pot block. Picture: Chris Etchells