Our team of urban designers have been contributing to Sheffield’s City Strategy and Local Plan since 2020, supporting Sheffield City Council in their ambitions for future regeneration. The suite of documents includes the Sheffield Central Areas Strategy, Capacity Study, Strategic Vision and the Sheffield City Centre Priority Neighbourhood Frameworks.
The plans aim to bring more residents into the city centre as part of a holistic vision which considers the City’s role in the regional, national, and global economy. Planit’s strategy provides a comprehensive perspective on the key ingredients for city living, such as the need for jobs, leisure, open space, biodiversity, and sustainable infrastructure.
Assessment of the City Centre’s residential capacity directly supports the emerging Local Plan. This demonstrated Sheffield’s Central Area has capacity to accommodate 20,000 new homes within the city centre brownfield sites, avoiding the need for greenbelt development. 100 plus city site assessments were undertaken, informed by townscape character analysis.
Six City Areas, comprising of twenty-two neighbourhoods, were identified and proposals shaped to develop a neighbourhood-led vision for Sheffield. Development capacity was assessed through a unique approach of applying density scenarios within specific parameters and verifying this information through masterplan feasibility testing. Townscape character analysis also underpinned the number of residential homes proposed within the resulting Capacity Report, avoiding blanket heights and typologies.
Following adoption of the Capacity Report, Planit produced the Neighbourhood Framework document, focussing on comprehensive masterplan frameworks for five strategic priority locations within the City Centre.
Louise Fountain, Principal Urban Designer at Planit, says: “It’s such an exciting time for Sheffield and we’re overjoyed to be able to play a role in its future. It’s exciting to see the future development being brought forward in a comprehensive way. The city’s heritage and townscape character has shaped the design principles, to capture the essence of Sheffield and the distinctive qualities of each neighbourhood.”
The ‘Priority Locations’ cover 53 hectares of the city centre, including Neepsend, Furnace Hill, Moorfoot, Wicker Riverside and Castlegate. Each neighbourhood will have a heart, amenity space, local facilities, and infrastructure, all within walking distance and Sheffield’s heritage assets and culture to help curate unique places.
Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said: “We’re so pleased with the Neighbourhood Framework document that has been drawn up as part our ambitious Local Plan for Sheffield. It will be central to our plans to create a more compact city and encourage people to live in the city centre — making use of existing brownfield land, ensuring quality homes are built in the right places, delivering more accessible, adaptable, affordable and sustainable housing, and promoting active travel, all whilst protecting the green character of our city.”
The strategy generates the opportunity for innovation and a joined-up approach to delivery. Regeneration at a city scale will deliver sustainable growth and achieve net zero carbon ambitions.
Fountain says: “In a time of global climate crisis, sustainability is at the heart of the framework. Sheffield leads by example with the ‘grey to green’ strategy and it continues the trend. The council’s ambition to deliver development at brownfield sites will help to protect the green belt land, promote active travel choices, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.”
Neepsend will include a new riverside park that maximises the River Don as a natural asset, creating accessible green space for visitors and a biodiverse natural corridor. It has significant development capacity to provide family homes within the city, access to green space, the river and independent heritage identity.
Castlegate is a gateway into the city and will be home of Sheffield’s innovation district, it will become a true mixed-use neighbourhood and celebrate its rich history of the former Castle site. It I has the potential to be a cultural destination with an energetic atmosphere, supported by an active groundscape and new outdoor multi-purpose events space.
Furnace Hill will celebrate its finer grain street pattern, heritage buildings and industry. Growth of this neighbourhood connects to the past whilst embracing the future with the potential to deliver up to 3109 high-quality homes. A new park will create much needed amenity space and provide views across the city.
Wicker Riverside is a gateway into the city centre, once heavily industrialised and former mills and steel works dotted along a tight street network. Neighbouring Kelham Island and West Bar, Wicker Riverside will become a live work neighbourhoods, catering to a wide range of demographics with new high-quality homes for all.
Moorfoot, a distinctive and welcoming gateway development into the city centre, offering compact contemporary living located at the heart of the retail core. Its central location in a vibrant global city will attract professionals looking for a city centre lifestyle. A new public square will accommodate visitors and outdoor events. Moorfoot has the potential to deliver up to 2880 homes.
The Sheffield Neighbourhood Priority Neighbourhood Frameworks and Capacity Study was developed by Planit in partnership with Deloitte, Homes England and Sheffield City Council. Planit provided urban design, masterplaning services and authored the documents. Both documents are adopted by Sheffield City Council and will shape the future growth of the city centre for years to come.
You can see the full plans here.