Huge Sheffield city centre car park approved as part of West Bar development

Written by Emily Davies

Plans for a nine-story car park in the Sheffield city centre have been approved by the council, despite backlash from Green Party councillors and environmentalists.

The car park is the latest phase in the West Bar redevelopment project, and construction of the multi-storey is expected to begin next year.

It will have 470 spaces and include disabled parking and electric vehicle charging points within the development, which will be located on the Inner Ring Road between Kelham Island and Sheffield’s Cathedral Quarter.

However, Green Party councillors and green groups are concerned about the initial construction carbon footprint as well as how it might detract from more sustainable ways of transport, like cycling, electric vehicles and public transport.

The car park was approved by the Sheffield City Council planning committee, with 10 votes for but two Green Party councillors voting against it.

The Green Party Councillor for City Ward and Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, Douglas Johnson said: “I think this car park is a symptom of the legacy of the outline planning permission that was granted for the West Bar site in 2017.

“However, that shows we have made progress in four years in that it would be considered unacceptable today. City centre developments must plan to be substantially free of cars if our future city centre is to be viable and a pleasant and healthy place to live and work in.”

Brian Holmshaw, the Broomhill & Sharrow Vale Sheffield Green Party councillor and Executive Adviser for Sustainable Neighbourhoods, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure said the extra parking isn’t needed and he voted against the plans.

Cllr Johnson said: “There is no loss of parking in the city centre this Christmas. I want to encourage people to come to the city centre on foot, on bikes, on the bus and on the tram. Bringing unnecessary private cars in to the city centre is bad for air pollution, bad for climate change, bad for congestion, bad for road safety and bad for buses.”

However, parking is a contentious issue, especially around Christmas. Read about issues surrounding free festive parking in Sheffield here.

The £300 million West Bar redevelopment has seven acres of land and the West Bar website claims the overall project will provide over 10,000 jobs.

The car park is only the latest stage in the project, with consent granted in August for a 100,000 square foot office building with retail space and 368 apartments as part of the first £150 million phase.

According to Urbo, the developer, funding has already been secured through Legal and General in the largest single private sector investment seen in Sheffield.

Ralph Jones, managing director at Peveril Securities, which is working with Urbo Regeneration, said: “West Bar, along with the commitment by Legal & General to invest £150 million 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.”

Written by Emily Davies

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