Sheffield Hallam University’s £25m campus revamp plans set for approval

A UNIVERSITY campus in a Yorkshire city is set to be completely overhauled at a cost of £25m, if planning permission is granted by council members at a meeting next week.

Sheffield Hallam University has drawn up plans to demolish its Heart of the Campus building, Yorkon building and Marshall hall of residence, which all lie off Collegiate Crescent, near Ecclesall Road.

The buildings would then be replaced with a new “state-of-the-art teaching complex”, complete with a 220-seat lecture theatre and other facilities, to open in 2014.

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Although the existing Heart of the Campus building is less than 10 years old, Marshall Hall is a seven-storey 1960s tower block, and planning officials say its demolition would create a “significant benefit” to the appearance of the neighbourhood, which lies within a conservation area.

Sheffield Council’s planning board is set to consider the application, which has been submitted by HLM Architects, at a meeting on Monday.

In the report set to go before that meeting, planning officers say the proposed new Heart of the Campus building would be made up of “four elements, built around a central atrium.”

The report adds: “The individual elements will provide social spaces, catering facilities, student services, a lecture theatre, IT suite and accommodation for individual university departments with approximately 7,700m2 of floorspace. “These facilities will replace existing facilities either in the existing Heart of the Campus or in buildings to the north portion of the campus, which will eventually be disposed of.

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“The development ranges between one and three storeys in height, with a contemporary design approach and a mixed palette of materials.

“Overall, car parking provision will be reduced, but replacement disabled parking spaces are provided to both frontages of the building.”

Just one objection to the plans has been received, from the Broomgrove Trust.

The company says that, while it has “no problems with the upgrading works” which will “improve the appearance of the area and the facilities for students”, the proposed reduction in parking will “put an even greater strain on the parking situation in Broomgrove Road and the surrounding area.”

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Recommending that the plans should be granted permission, city planners say: “The proposals will consolidate and enhance the facilities on offer at the Collegiate Campus through the provision of a modern and well co-ordinated central hub.

“The development will also ultimately enable Sheffield Hallam University to increase their investment in the city through funds released from the disposal of the Southbourne, White House and Lodge buildings at the northern end of the campus.

“The Broomgrove former hall of residence has already been released.”

The planners add: “The proposals will significantly enhance the appearance of the Broomhall Conservation Area.

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“The proposed new building is a high-quality contemporary design.

“Overall, the development is a welcome addition to the Sheffield Hallam University campus.”

Meanwhile, at the same planning committee meeting next Monday, councillors are also set to approve plans to build a new housing development on another of Sheffield Hallam University’s former campuses, on Psalter Lane in Nether Edge.

Planning officials said in documentation that they considered the proposals for 40 houses as well as apartments to represent a “good quality scheme of traditional design”.

If the plans are agreed, Sheffield Hallam University would also have to give £1m to Sheffield Council, in order to provide affordable housing elsewhere in the city.