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£1.5bn plan is Sheffield’s ‘biggest ever’

Sheffield’s biggest ever development project has been unveiled – a £1.5bn plan to transform the area around Midland station.

The hugely ambitious project would see the closure of Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street – the dual carriageway that runs in front of the station – would swap places with the tram route that runs behind.

A huge, landscaped pedestrian bridge would link Park Hill with Howard Street and the multi-storey car park on Turner Street would be demolished and moved further away.

It would be replaced by an office block – one of up to 12 planned in the ‘Sheffield Valley’ zone, including four outside the station, employing up to 3,000 people.

Up to 1,000 homes – flats and houses – could also be built.

The total cost of the 20-year scheme is estimated at £1.5bn, dwarfing the £480m Heart of the City II development.

Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and development, said the plan was to maximise the economic potential of the area and make the most of HS2.

“This is the biggest, most ambitious and most expensive development project Sheffield has seen.

“This is about making the most of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and unlocking private sector development to bring in businesses and jobs.

“It will transform the Sheaf Valley and visitors’ arrival at the station, join Park HIll with the city, connect the station with Heart of the City II and create an entire new quarter for Sheffield.”

The new tram route would run from Fitzalan Square, along Pond Street, stop outside the station and continue along Suffolk Road to Granville Square.

The bus station on Pond Street would be reduced in size to make room for the tram tracks and offices on stilts potentially built on top.

Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street would become a park and link into the Grey to Green scheme at Victoria Quays, Castlegate and West Bar.

Coun Iqbal said the council would co-ordinate the project. Funding could come from several organisations including the city council, HS2, SYPTE, Transport for the North, Network Rail, Sheffield City Region and the Department for Transport. But the bulk of the costs – up to £1bn – would be from the private sector, which would build the offices, restaurants, bars and potentially a hotel.

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Liverpool to look for views on blueprint for city centre growth

Upper Central – covering 56 acres in the heart of Liverpool city centre – is to be the subject of a draft masterplan to create an international standard gateway site to a £2bn flagship regeneration scheme.

Running from Central Station to Liverpool Science Park and Lime Street to Bold Street, Upper Central is seen as key to the future development of the city’s blossoming Knowledge Quarter (KQ Liverpool).

And Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet will be asked next Friday, 5 July to approve that a public consultation begins on a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) to help shape the future direction of the area.

Its focus will be how Upper Central can become a magnet for digital, tech and creative sectors with the aim of providing three key goals :-

1. To maximise the opportunities of 2.5million sq.ft of new developments (larger than Liverpool ONE), with potential to create up to 7,000 new jobs.

2. A new sustainable, walkable and recognisable gateway location within the city, promoting pedestrian movement, increased dwell time and a positive first impression to millions of residents and visitors arriving into the city centre at Lime Street or Central stations.

3. To ensure high quality public realm that creates a place that is distinctly Liverpudlian and attractive to occupiers, residents and investors.

Stakeholder feedback on the draft SRF identified a need to re-brand the area. As a result a new website www.uppercentral.co.uk will be launched to coincide with the start of the public consultation.

Led by a team of independent planning experts, the draft SRF has looked at how best to redevelop the Lime Street area around the Adelphi Hotel, Central Station and Mount Pleasant whilst dovetailing Liverpool John Moores University’s Copperas Hill site, plans for the Fabric District and various private sector schemes such as Circus Liverpool at the old Lewis’s building.

To achieve this future development the draft Upper Central SRF is focused on eight key themes:

• Creation of a True Gateway for Liverpool
• Improving linkages to the rest of the city centre and pedestrian experience
• A mix of uses to create a quality of place and identity
• Striving for high quality design, appropriate massing and landmark buildings
• Provision of high-quality infrastructure
• Holistic view of development context and creating a new city district
• Preserving and enhancing heritage assets
• Delivery and collaboration

A major aspiration identified in the draft SRF is how to create a super crossing at Ranelagh Place, a new pedestrian experience along Renshaw Street and to promote a new pedestrian route to Lime Street Station from Copperas Hill to allow for improved access to the Fabric District and Paddington Village.

Liverpool City Council, which recently acquired Central Station shopping centre and is overseeing public realm proposals for St George’s Plateau, as part of the £45m city centre connectivity scheme, has also set out an ambition to redevelop the Mount Pleasant Car Park area to create an international standard gateway for the KQ Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone which currently employs 7% of the city’s workforce.

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