VIDEO: Park Hill developers want to ‘pick up pace’ - but there’s no finish date

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Developers of Sheffield’s landmark Park Hill say they want to ‘pick up the pace’ after suffering ‘stagnation’ caused by the recession.

Building work started in 2007 and the first residents moved into the scheme in early 2013, when developers pledged to continue with the £160 million redevelopment despite financial problems.

Simon Gawthorpe, of Urban Splash, at Park Hill

Simon Gawthorpe, of Urban Splash, at Park Hill

Just 91 of the 263 flats planned for the first phases of development have now been completed and sold – and there is no concrete completion date for the expected 800 homes overall.

Last year developer Urban Splash announced it was investing £17 million in the project to create 182 of the new homes, a new nursery and workspaces.

Managing director Simon Gawthorpe said: “Effectively there are 91 of those flats that sold of the 263 in the first phases and we are releasing the rest for sale from May and June.

“We haven’t been on the market to sell for a while, about a year, so that is us getting back on it.

“The latest homes are being released between now and the end of the year in different batches.”

The next homes will cost from £100,000 for a one-bedroom flat.

Mr Gawthorpe insisted there was a ‘huge amount of work going on behind the scenes’ at Park Hill. In June seven new Sheffield businesses that will occupy part of the site will be confirmed and it is said most are buying.

The estate’s former Scottish Queen pub will host an arts programme over the next year, the operating Grace Owen nursery will relocate and landscaping is to take place.

There are also plans to get a new pub on site – as developers say they hope 400 people will be living on site and 200 working there by the end of the year to create a new ‘quarter’ for the city.

Mr Gawthorpe said Urban Splash was ‘looking towards’ phase three but when asked if there was a completion date he said: “That’s a good question.

“All I can say is we are doing it in phases and we will need to make sure that we have got all the funding for that phase – it could take five plus years.

“The whole economy through the recession stagnated and other areas of Sheffield development stagnated. Park Hill and Urban Splash has not been immune to the recession, what we are doing now is investing this money to pick up the pace.

“We can’t do everything overnight but we are determined to make this a success.”