DLP Planning Ltd was commissioned to advise on the preparation of an application for the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing and Research Campus (AMRC2) on 18.6ha of land off the Sheffield Parkway with the potential to provide 100,000m2 of floorspace.
The outline application was subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and an Environmental Statement was prepared to support the planning application. The plans were given unanimous backing by Sheffield City Council’s Planning Committee in October 2015, subject to a referral to the Secretary of State due to the proposals representing a departure from the Development Plan.
The application site included land within the Green Belt, although this is subject to review through the preparation of the Local Plan. Very special circumstances were required to be demonstrated to justify the release of the land for development at this time, including:
- The overwhelming educational and research need to provide state-of-the-art teaching facilities and opportunities for applied research for the University’s fast growing Engineering Faculty;
- The significant economic benefits of the development, when operational, to provide a direct contribution of more than 1,500 jobs and £90m to the economy, with a potential impact in excess of £200m and 4,000 jobs when taking into account indirect and induced benefits;
- The creation of highly skilled jobs to support the objectives of the Strategic Economic Plan; and
- Consideration also had to be given to the proposed HS2 route in this location to serve Meadowhall Station.
The development proposals had support from global, regional and local interests including Bruce Katz, of the Washington DC based Brookings Institution.
The Campus is seen as the anchor for the Sheffield–Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District, which is being promoted as part of the Sheffield City Region investment in world-leading advanced manufacturing research.