DLP Planning Ltd have successfully secured planning permission for a mixed use development incorporating student accommodation, totalling 972 bed spaces, commercial units and Hub Space on a city centre site within Sheffield.
The close proximity of the site to the International College and city centre University campuses was demonstrative of a sustainable location for this sort of accommodation. The development proposals were subject to Environmental Impact Screening, but it was determined by the Local Planning Authority that this was not required. Permission to demolish the buildings on site has already been granted under the prior notification process.
Pre-application engagement with the Council and subsequent negotiations with the Council were key to securing this largescale development which includes a 16/18 storey tower on the edge of city centre gateway location and lower rise built form adjacent assets of heritage value close to a Conservation Area. HLM Architects reviewed the design proposals to improve detailing, materials and views of the tower, making sure this will be a positive addition to the area. Opportunities to feature reclaimed items from the former industrial premises to be re-used as part of the public art strategy were also identified as having benefits to link the development in a positive way to past use of the area.
The development includes a Hub Space which can be opened up to the wider student population to provide space for group activities and events, group study zones, small group study spaces, film presentation lounge and music rooms. Social space will also be provided for the sole use of residents to include common rooms, and a gym. The availability of commercial units to provide small commercial shops can also provide convenience shopping offers to the wider area. The commercial space and hub space would be expected to deliver employment as would the construction phase. The addition of public links through the site will benefit pedestrian permeability through the local Quarter and towards the city centre.
A public exhibition was arranged by Counter Context in Croft House community centre where the proposals were displayed for comment. It was clear that most concerns were to do with the impact during construction. With that in mind a Construction Management Plan was agreed as being required as as a pre-commencement condition in order to allow ease of understanding of the requirements of construction on the site.
In summary, the proposals as approved would bring forward a high quality development in a highly sustainable location, well suited to the changing nature of this part of the city centre.