Green Light for First Phase of West Bar Scheme
Full planning approval was granted on Tuesday 17 August for the first phase of the highly anticipated new West Bar mixed use development in Sheffield.
The decision means that construction of this important scheme can start within the next few months, along with the completion of the ongoing demolition. The reserved matters approval has kickstarted the regeneration of the seven-acre disused site to provide some much-needed new Grade A office accommodation, as well as incorporating ancillary retail and leisure space, residential apartments and high-quality public realm.
Urbo (West Bar) Ltd is the scheme developer, a joint venture between Urbo Regeneration and Peveril Securities and has already secured the £150 million funding to deliver the first phase from Legal & General in the largest private sector investment deal Sheffield has ever seen.
The partnership plans to deliver a £300 million mixed use destination and is expected to create about 6,000 – 8,000 jobs as well as meeting some of Sheffield’s current housing needs.
The first phase of the development includes No.1 West Bar Square, a new 100,000 sq ft office building, which will see ground floor retail and leisure space. It delivers against much needed Grade A employment space, with floor plates suitable for large scale occupiers. It will also deliver Soho Yard, comprising 368 Build to Rent residential apartments. Once it has been completed, West Bar will provide approximately one acre of public realm and green space, extending the Council’s hugely successful grey to green and SUDS transformation.
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.
“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.”
Ralph Jones, Managing Director at Peveril Securities, said: “West Bar, along with the commitment by Legal & General to invest £150m for the first phase, is testament to the strength of Sheffield as a considerable powerhouse in the North and an attractive place to live and work.
“Our vision for West Bar is to deliver a much-needed new quarter for the centre of Sheffield, delivering on the city’s housing, jobs and regeneration needs with up to 1 million sq ft of vibrant new mixed-use space along with fantastic public realm for all to enjoy. Achieving planning consent is a major milestone and will enable us to realise this vision.”
Soho Yard offers 368 residential apartments within two buildings situated around a landscaped space and gardens with access via Plum Lane. The properties will be delivered and operated by Legal & General as part of its highly successful ‘Build to Rent – Homes for Life’ portfolio. It sits on the site of the famous ‘Soho wheel’ that powered grinding machinery near the River Don after the Industrial Revolution.
Legal & General is using its varied long-term sources of capital to support a UK-wide job creation agenda, reshaping the urban landscape, and providing the significant investment needed to help cities adapt, change and innovate. It is committed to investing in Sheffield and to supporting its post-crisis growth ambitions, where it recognises the high potential that the city has to offer.
Phase two plans for West Bar include a second Legal & General-funded, 100,000 sq. ft. office building, with further phases ultimately providing 1 million sq ft of mixed-use accommodation, of which over 500,000 sq ft will be Grade A office space offering the largest floor plates in Sheffield city centre.
Ben Rodgers, Head of Regeneration at Legal & General commented: “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.”
Urbo was advised by BNP Paribas Real Estate.
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