'It's not just students who want to live in Sheffield city centre', say team behind £15m apartment complex

How the new apartments will look
How the new apartments will look
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The creators of a new £15 million apartment complex insist it's not just students who want to live in Sheffield city centre.

More than 130 new flats are set to be created on the outskirts of the city centre, in a series of buildings rising up to nine storeys.

The first phase of the £15 million Great Central development on industrial land just outside the Kelham Island conservation area was approved by councillors at yesterday's planning committee meeting.

Existing buildings on the land, at the corner of Chatham Street and Mowbray Street, will be demolished and replaced with apartment blocks ranging from five to nine storeys.

Phase one includes space for shops, offices, cafés and restaurants on the ground floor, with 131 studio flats and one and two-bedroom apartments above.

The development will eventually contain more than 200 flats, subject to the second phase getting the go-ahead.

Neighbouring residents had raised concerns about the scale of the development, which they said was four storeys higher than recommended in the action plan for Kelham Island and Neepsend.

There were 11 objection letters from members of the public, who also voiced concerns that the 20 parking spaces included were insufficient for a development of this size.

But planning officers, who recommended the plans for approval, said the 'gateway' location and proximity to the ring road meant the height was not excessive, and they claimed parking spaces were sufficient given public transport provision in the area.

The developer Knight Knox hopes construction can begin in March next year, with the development due for completion in September 2019.

The plans were drawn up by CODA Architecture, which claims this will be one of the biggest non-student residential developments in Sheffield city centre.

Matt Bowker, of CODA Architecture, said: "It's not just students and young professionals who want to live in Sheffield city centre.

"We know, as well as our clients, that there is a huge demand for this kind of development which includes larger two and three-bedroom units that are suited for families and older people looking to downsize.

"Our design complements the Kelham Island conservation area and natural topography of the site comprising of a series of blocks around a central courtyard."