Tuesday, December 6, 2022

News: Meadowhall extension approved by council committee


A revised expansion scheme at Meadowhall has been approved by members of the planning and highways committee at Sheffield Council, despite a number of objections - including from Rotherham Council.

Occupiers at the development won't be able to open until 2029, which planners say provides breathing space to suffering centres nearby.

British Land has scaled back plans to expand the out-of-town shopping centre and the latest application includes space for indoor leisure, food & beverage sales and general retail including a supermarket.

Members discussed a range of issues including the assessment of the negative impact that the proposal would have on Sheffield city centre and Rotherham town centre.

Six members voted to agree with the planning officer's recommendation to approve the plans. Three voted against with one abstention.

Rotherham Council objected to the plans, as it has for previous iterations, saying that it would have a "significant adverse impact upon the vitality and viability of Rotherham town centre" and on the "planned investment in the Forge Island site and also existing investment across the remainder of the town centre."

The owners of The Moor in Sheffield, and the Fox Valley development in Stocksbridge, also objected, calling for more assessment of the impacts.

The approval comes with a number of conditions, including no floorspace to be occupied before 1 November 2029, a restriction in the types of goods that can be sold and a "no poaching" condition. The proposals are designed to mitigate the impacts of the proposed Meadowhall development on Sheffield city centre and Rotherham town centre.

The board heard how it would be possible for owners British Land to introduce new sports facilities in the existing Meadowhall units, such as the empty Debenhams, before 2029 given the change in use classes made by central government with Class E covering a range of uses including both retail and gyms, indoor sports & recreation (not swimming pools or ice skating).

It was also explained that the no poaching rule only applies to Sheffield city centre and not Rotherham.

Cllr. Brian Holmshaw voted against the approval, telling fellow board members: "If Rotherham Council can stand up for its town centre then why can’t Sheffield stand up for its centre too?"

In voting for the recommendation, members however agreed that, on balance, whilst the centres of Sheffield and Rotherham were "fragile," the conditions and obligations, would mean that the proposed development would not have a "substantial adverse impact upon the vitality and viability of any City, Town or District Centre within the catchment areas or any existing, committed and planned public and private investment in those centres."

Meadowhall website

Images: British Land


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