A CGI image of St James Securities' proposed £35m retail park in Sheffield.
Nick Hill

Proposed £35m Sheffield retail park to create 250 full-time new jobs

Leeds-headquartered developer St James Securities has submitted plans to Sheffield City Council to create a £35m retail park in the city.

The 8.23-acre St James Retail Park, which will be occupied by a number of high-profile national chains including Aldi, will be built at The Sheffield College’s former Norton campus site on Bochum Parkway in south Sheffield.

The development, led by St James Securities, is expected to create 250 full-time equivalent new and sustainable jobs, together with 124 jobs during construction.

If the development gets the go-ahead, work on site to demolish the Norton campus will begin later this year and it is hoped that the retail park will be open by Christmas 2017.

Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, explained: “This is a tremendously exciting development, which will radically enhance the retail offering in south Sheffield. Aldi has already committed to taking almost 20,000 sq ft of prime space and we are in advanced discussions with a number of other major retailers.

“Altogether there is 98,764 sq ft of retail and leisure space at our development, which includes a wide range of retail, leisure and food outlets. This will be a major asset in an area of the city which is currently being regenerated. The park is well-located, accessed directly from Sheffield’s outer ring road at Bochum Parkway.

“We believe there is a real need for a development like this, as people living close by are currently driving or getting public transport in order to enjoy first-class, large-scale retail and leisure facilities.”

There are already a number of completed and proposed developments in the area, including the new Meadowhead School, the JCT 600 Audi and VW Garages, the £16m extension to the Graves Tennis & Leisure Centre, the NCSEM (National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine), which is due to be completed this summer, and the proposed new FA 3g all-weather football pitches and changing facilities on the site’s southern boundary.

Mr Morris added: “The St James Retail Park will complement these exciting developments. Work has started on the expanding Graves Leisure Centre and should be completed by September. New facilities there will include a new six-lane swimming pool, a fitness suite and a centre for gymnastics and trampolining.

“Our vision is that families will be able to come to the area for retail, leisure, sport, fun and food all in one journey. Response to our plans from residents has been generally positive particularly in relation to conveniently located food shopping with choice from both discount and premium operators, which is very encouraging.

“Concerns were expressed about traffic and highways problems, but £1 million is being spent on access to and from the site, including carriageway widening improvements to the Meadowhead Roundabout, creation of a new fourth lane on Bochum Parkway, a new ‘all movements’ signal controlled junction from the scheme onto Bochum Parkway and a pedestrian gateway entrance to the site.”

Adam Mobley, partner with Leeds-based property consultancy WSB, who are the lead letting agents, commented: “The response from retailers so far, since we started marketing the scheme, has been overwhelming. There is clearly a strong demand for this area of Sheffield for an attractive good quality retail offer with associated restaurant/cafes.

“All the operators that are in solicitors hands have moved quickly to secure a position on the scheme and with limited space, demand is currently out stripping supply. We have some great retail names that are committing to the project and the scheme will provide increased consumer choice for the residents of South Sheffield,” said Mr Mobley. “We will be announcing the names of these retailers shortly.”

Andrew Dabbs, design director at WCEC Architects, also commented: “WCEC Architects are proud to be working alongside St James Securities on this fantastic redevelopment opportunity at the Norton College Site, especially as it is situated so near to our group head office.

“Our proposal is to deliver a high-quality and sustainable development which will set a new benchmark for this popular retail format offering. Our shared passion for design with our client will deliver a development with quality, integrity and character.”

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