The sky's the limit for new Sheffield homes

Skye Edge has spectacular views over Sheffield
Skye Edge has spectacular views over Sheffield
0
Have your say

It was immortalised in a Richard Hawley song, now Sheffield’s Skye Edge is to be revitalised

Sheffield Council wants to sell land it owns at Skye Edge Avenue so 135 new homes can be built.

The council has been approached by developers Place First who want to expand their private rented sector housing into Sheffield. The plans include 55 two-bed apartments, 45 three-bed townhouses and 35 four-bed houses for rent.

Place First build, operate and manage developments of 100 homes or more and target low value areas in need of regeneration. The Skye Edge site is high above the city behind Midland station and Norfolk Park and has been vacant since 2009 when 1970s maisonettes were demolished.

In a report to councillors, officers say: “Place First take a different approach to traditional developers operating in low value areas in need of regeneration.

“Their vision is to look beyond the provision of good quality homes to creating community centred neighbourhoods where people can live, thrive and flourish.

“They believe that their developments can introduce sufficient coverage and build quality that, if the estate is then managed correctly, can change how the area is perceived, develop a sense of place and community and influence and improve the character of the area, enhancing the lives of the people who live there.”

Place First already have developments nationwide including Liverpool, Leeds and Hartlepool.

The report adds: “These developments have all been in areas of market failure and poor perception where traditional approaches to development have been unsuccessful.

“Place First were introduced to several sites in Sheffield in public and private ownership which have received little or no market interest, where viability is marginal or development has not been forthcoming.

“Sites included two council owned sites at Skye Edge and Gaunt Road. After considering the sites, Place First wish to pursue a scheme at Skye Edge as they perceive that location as having greatest potential for their model of development.”

Sheffield Council has looked at building social housing in the past but couldn’t afford it because of former mines underground.

“Whilst the site is capable of accommodating much needed housing a different approach is therefore required to bring the site forward.

“Place First‟s ambition is to generate quality private rented sector housing to harmonise with the council‟s ambitions to develop a vibrant city with a diverse housing stock which meets the needs of all.”

The development should be completed by the end of May 2019.

Background

It has a beautiful name but Sky Edge has suffered in recent years.

The area had previously been used for mining so there are difficult ground conditions to build on.

One of the most significant costs of development will be drilling and grouting of old mine workings. Estimates suggest that grouting will cost around £500,000.

It’s one of the areas within Sheffield with the lowest property values. Sheffield Council says the site has been “challenging” as it is not of interest to large housebuilders but is too big to be of any interest to small and medium sized developers.

South Yorkshire Housing Association looked at the site but couldn’t produce a viable scheme.

The interest from Place First is a very significant opportunity for the council to generate quality housing within the city, to regenerate Sky Edge and to earn much needed cash from the sale of the site.

Place First has agreed to a “reverse option” where Sheffield Council can buy the land back at the original purchase price if Place First do not start on site once they have obtained planning permission.

Sheffield Centre MP Paul Blomfield, who represents the area, said: “Skye Edge offers some of the best views of the city. It’s a great location for new housing, so I hope this new project will add to the community, as well as provide much needed affordable homes.”