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Controversial Park Hill redevelopment wins green light

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Urban Splash's controversial proposals to redevelop the Brutalist 1960s Park Hill housing estate in Sheffield have won the go-ahead.

The ambitious £163 million scheme to overhaul the run-down Grade II*-listed concrete behemoth has divided opinion across the city.

However, despite repeated calls for the demolition of the infamous 'homes in the sky' development from the local Lib Dems, Sheffield City Council has now decided to grant outline planning permission for the overhaul.

Masterminded by Studio Egret West, in collaboration with Hawkins\Brown and landscape architect Gaunt Associates, the project will see 1,000 original flats converted into 867 fully refurbished, mixed-tenure apartments.

The scheme also aims to reconnect the hillside estate with the rest of the city centre and there are plans to revamp and extend the public spaces.

Simon Gawthorpe, managing director of Urban Splash Yorkshire, believes the decision marks a major victory in the battle to win the locals' 'hearts and minds'.

He said: 'It's great news to hear that our proposals for Park Hill have received outline planning permission.

'There is still a long way to go before our ambitious plans can become a reality - but gaining planning is a significant step.'

Unsurprisingly, Lib Dem Councillor John Hesketh was unimpressed by the outcome of the council meeting. He told the City Centre, South and East Planning and Highways Area Board: 'Park Hill is not a quality building, despite its listed status. No matter how good Urban Splash are, they cannot airbrush that out.'

by Richard Waite

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