D-day for city centre flats plan

PLANS for a large block of flats and offices on the edge of Sheffield city centre are likely to be thrown out for the second time in less than two years when councillors meet today.

Developers want to turn an empty building on St Mary's Gate roundabout into an eight-storey block of 57 flats and a three-storey block of offices.

The scheme, off Bramall Lane, was refused permission in March 2008 because of "unacceptable design" and flood risk.

A report by planning officers says the design "is much improved" - providing an "interesting, varied and good quality" addition to the area.

But officers have recommended councillors refuse the scheme for the second time because the developers have not offered enough money for affordable housing.

Applicant SMC Jenkins and Marr - acting for the owner of the former Remploy site - have offered 90,000 and told the council any more would make the project unviable.

But officers say the independent District Valuer has advised that a 500,000 contribution would be justified.

Councillors will also consider plans to knock down two Victorian villas in Broomhall to make way for a three-storey block of 53 student flats.

Officers have recommended refusal for the scheme on the corner of Wilkinson Street and Wilkinson Lane because of the effect on the Hanover Conservation Area and neighbouring residents.

They also received 18 letters of objection.

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