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British Land rethinks BDP’s £300m Meadowhall extension

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British Land has revealed it will submit fresh proposals for an expansion of Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre after ditching BDP’s approved £300 million scheme

The developer is expected to launch a consultation on a new-look project at the Yorkshire mega-mall in the coming weeks.

Sheffield City Council approved AJ100 big-hitter BDP’s plans for a 30,650m² ‘leisure hall’ at Meadowhall back in 2017.

But, after the growth of online shopping, drawn-out uncertainty over the UK’s exit from the EU, and now the social distancing measures introduced to fight Covid-19, British Land is preparing a different scheme.

The AJ has learned that BDP remains on the project and is working on the revised designs.

Last week a spokesperson for the developer confirmed it was ‘rethinking’ its plans for the leisure-led extension at Meadowhall ‘due to the rapidly changing retail environment’.

’We will be launching a public consultation on our revised plans this summer, ahead of a new planning application being submitted, which will propose a phased approach to delivery of our plans,’ they added.

BDP’s proposals were hailed as the biggest investment in the out-of-town shopping centre since it opened in the 1990s.

Featuring a large, glazed roof, it would have housed restaurants, a cinema, a gym and a café court as well as an open-air terrace allowing visitors to dine outside.

The scheme was initially earmarked for completion in early 2021.

Speaking about the revised plans, a spokesperson confirmed the the practice had been working with British Land on ’an exciting new design proposal since the strategic decision was taken to revise the planned extension for the Meadowhall Shopping Centre’.

In its full-year results to 31 March 2020, British Land recently revealed that the overall value of its portfolio had dropped from £12.3 billion to £11.2 billion.

Chief executive Chris Grigg said: ‘Our financial position is robust, with debt low, significant covenant headroom and access to £1.3 billion of undrawn facilities and cash, so we are well-placed to weather today’s challenges and succeed in the long term.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • What's the point of a public consultation this summer?
    Is there really any chance that within the next few months the public - any more than architects or developers - will be able to see what the future holds, with any clarity?

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