Residents have given mixed views to the announcement that plans to redevelop one of Sheffield’s main shopping streets have been revised due to costs of renovation more than doubling.
Construction work on the long awaited redevelopment of the Fargate area is due to start in Spring.
But in a meeting last week, Sheffield City Council decided to change plans over the redevelopment of Fargate and the areas surrounding the Cathedral and City hall – after its budget was slashed by £10m.
This was as a result of inflation, with the November 2021 projection of £8.82m for the development more than doubling, reaching close to £18m in February this year.
Coun Mazher Iqbal announced that the plans would be carried out in a “phased manner, reducing the scope of the plans”.
With these revised redevelopment plans scheduled to begin in April, Shef Live went out to Fargate to gauge the reaction to the proposals.
Retired nurse Lisa, 66, expressed disappointment, saying: “I think it’s a real shame if I’m honest. The whole area has needed a facelift for a while now and when you mention the numbers involved with this project it makes you wonder why it’s such a struggle. This is the real life result of all the Tory mistakes and scandals you only hear about on the news. Now we see them for ourselves.”
However, Simon Carpenter, 42, said: “I don’t think it’s the end of the world. By the sounds of it it’s going to get done, it will just take a little longer. For me it doesn’t really make me react in any way,
“I suppose it’s a little frustrating for the people around here but it’s not doing any harm to anyone. It’s just unfortunate we’ve got to trust the council to get this done but I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”
Tamika, 19, a student at the University of Sheffield, said: “I’m new to the city, it’s only my first year here but one of those things you notice is a lack of a real city centre. West Street is cool for a night out but I just feel like they could really develop this area if they put a bit of money into it. Even if it’s just the shops and green space, it would look better than boarded windows and concrete. It couldn’t hurt to improve this area, it’s got real potential, I think.”
Others fear that the council’s decision has led to the city being left behind by Northern neighbours Leeds and Manchester, with @GostoloPaul tweeting, “Just look at Fargate containers? Sheffield is and could be a great city but we are way behind Manchester Leeds etc IMO”
The containers mentioned in that tweet have been another source of outrage for Sheffield, dropped into Fargate just before Christmas and now being ordered for removal by the end of February with @stevieb39 referring to the containers and their removal as “Another waste of council tax payers money”