The West Bar development in Sheffield has been granted full planning approval meaning that construction work can begin within a few months. The development will create various buildings suitable for retail, leisure, hotels, living and parking.
Urbo Limited (West Bar), a shared venture between Urbo Regeneration and Peverill Securities (the development arm of the Bowmer and Kirkland Group) has already obtained the £150 million funding to deliver the first phase from Legal & General. Overall, the partnership aims to produce a £300 million development.
West Bar will take up seven acres on the Inner Ring Road between the booming Kelham Island district and Sheffield’s Cathedral and Castlegate Quarters.
Peter Swallow, managing director at Urbo, said, “We have been working closely with Sheffield City Council and other key stakeholders for many years to bring forward this important regeneration scheme and we are delighted to secure full planning consent to be able to move forward with construction.”
Phase one of the new development
Architects 5plus have designed the new development with planning advice from Asteer Planning. The first stage involves the development of No.1 West Bar Square and Soho Yard. The planning for No.1 West Bar Square includes a Grade A office building with retail and leisure space. Soho Yard will comprise of roughly 368 Build to Rent residential apartments.
A separate planning application for a 450 space car park will be submitted shortly. However, the priority is to promote sustainable travel and reduce traffic by encouraging local workers and residents to use public transport.
The developers aim to include around one acre of public green space, 300 cycle storage spaces, and cycling routes as part of a push for sustainable travel and reduced traffic. New electric charging points alongside low emission vehicle spaces are included in the development plan, too.
Phase two of the new development
The second stage of the new development includes a second Legal & General-funded office building.
Swallow adds, “No.1 West Bar Square delivers against evidenced demand for large footprint, High quality modern office accommodation that currently lacking in Sheffield city centre. It complements the existing West Bar neighbourhood which already boasts key office occupiers including the Home Office, top 50 law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Crown and Family Courts.”
Ben Rodgers, head of regeneration at Legal & General, explains: “Creating vibrant towns and cities is key to Britain’s economic growth and prosperity. Sheffield has been on a journey over the last 40 years, from industrial decline to steady growth, and now is looking to invest for the future and strengthen its position as a leading UK city. We are excited to be bringing this important scheme forward to meet this ambition and look forward to continuing to work with the council, Urbo and local residents to deliver modern and fit-for-purpose office space which responses to local needs.”
After stages one and two are complete, more phases of the development are expected. The additional phases will help provide one million square feet of accommodation that can be used for different purposes. Over 500,000 square feet will be Grade A office space, making it the owner of the largest floor plates in Sheffield city centre.
Recent findings from the National Residential Landlords Association reveal that demand for private rented housing has reached a five-year high. If all goes to plan, West Bar destination is expected to help meet the major housing needs in Sheffield.
Not only does the new development aim to reshape the urban landscape, but it also aims to support the UK job creation agenda as it is expected to create around 6,000-8,000 new jobs.