Downturn 'halts' £600m Sheffield scheme

A retail development in Sheffield's city centre has been put on hold as a result of the economic downturn.

The redevelopment of the Sevenstone retail quarter by Hammerson - that would cost £600m to construct - is highly unlikely to begin until better financial conditions return to the UK.

A spokeswoman for Creative Sheffield - the city's urban regeneration company - said: "Hammerson, the developer, has only said it will not carry out major construction work this year, it has not put the project on hold." 

"Plans are now being put in place to enable the main Sevenstone construction project to kick-in immediately when the economy recovers."

The project's original 2008 start date was delayed by the compulsory purchase order process needed for the development. Ground breaking was later re-scheduled to begin in August 2009, a date that now looks increasingly unrealistic.

A Hammerson spokeswoman said: "We can't say anything because we are in a closed period and our results are due in February."

Sevenstone would provide 105,000 sq m of retail space including a new 22,000 sq m John Lewis department store, 55,000 sq m of retail units, 5,000 sq m of cafes and leisure facilities, 250 homes and over 2,000 parking spaces, according to the developer.


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