A masterplan to transform a former college site in Sheffield into a £25 million retail park has been unveiled by developers today.
The eight-acre Norton Campus, on Dyche Lane, will have to be demolished to make way for the project if plans are eventually approved by Sheffield Council.
Developers intend that a budget food store – such as the discount chain Aldi – would be the anchor for the development, which would also include a range of retail, leisure and food outlets.
They plan to submit a planning application in January, with a view to building work starting by the end of 2016. It is hoped that the retail park will be open by Christmas 2017.
Oliver Quarmby, managing director of developers St James Securities which was also behind Sheffield’s ‘Cheese grater’ car park in the city centre, said that around 500 jobs will be created by the development. He said: “We are very excited to be working on this project.
“There is a real need for a development like this, as people living in the area are currently getting in their car and driving across the city for this type of facility.”
Mr Quarmby said that the project would also complement the £16m expansion of nearby Graves Leisure Centre too. Work began on that development in March and will give the complex a new six lane swimming pool, fitness suite and a centre for gymnastics and trampolining.
Mr Quarmby said: “Graves is expanding to incorporate more activities.
“Our vision is that families can come for retail, leisure, sport, fun and food all in one car journey.”
An initial consultation on the plans is currently underway and people are urged to have their say.
“We are very keen to hear people’s thoughts on the project, because they can be tweaked easily at this stage”, added Mr Quarmby.
He said the response to the plans so far had been positive overall.
However, some residents have raised concerns about the impact that increased traffic might have on the area.
The nearby Meadowhead roundabout, and routes leading off it, are extremely busy at peak times.
Norton College campus closed its doors for the final time this summer and has been empty every since.
It was the oldest of Sheffield College’s sites, with some parts dating back to the 1950s.
All courses previously held at Norton moved into a new £8.8m centre at Hillsborough campus in September.
To find out more about the development, or submit concerns, email email@example.com