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Public consultation opens on future of Castlegate

Open to feedback until 20 November, plans for former Castle site include new green space and uncovering the River Sheaf.

Castlegate concept vision 2022 3

A 'concept plan' for the former Castle site includes new green space and the uncovering of the River Sheaf.

Sheffield City Council / Arup

Sheffield Council has today (7 November) launched a two-week public consultation on its 'concept plan' for the redevelopment of the former Castle Market site.

As Now Then reported last year, the Council has secured £20m of central government funding for a programme of major works at Castlegate, including a riverside park, a central green space, archaeological features and the 'deculverting' of a section of the River Sheaf.

The fund will also support the establishment of a Park Hill Art Space and a sculpture park connecting Castlegate and Park Hill flats, as well as providing a home for a new young people's music centre called Harmony Works on Commercial Street.

The Council says it plans to submit a planning application for the site in early 2023, with the aim of beginning work in summer. The project must be "substantially completed" by March 2024 or government funding could be withdrawn.

It is unclear how much of the planned redevelopment work will be funded by the government's Levelling Up Fund money and how much will need to be met from other sources.

Castlegate concept vision 2022 1

The first stage of redevelopment at Castlegate must be completed by March 2024.

Sheffield City Council / Arup

The former Castle site, one of the largest city centre development sites still owned by the Council, has been the focus of intense local debate and competing visions, as documented in a long-read Now Then piece published last year.

Several past public consultations on the site's future were cancelled at the eleventh hour by Councillor Mazher Iqbal with no clear reason given, according to a transparency request made by Now Then.

One cancelled consultation – on whether Castlegate should be granted conservation area status – has yet to take place. Cllr Iqbal told us in May that a proposed conservation area "hasn't been scrapped" and that it will be "revisited as part of [the development of] the Local Plan."

The concept plan

The Council's plan for Castlegate lists seven key elements which will be delivered with the government funding:

  • A riverside park, Sheaf Fields, located next to an uncovered section of the river.
  • A well-lit, central footpath connecting the north and south-west of the site.
  • A central green space called Castlegate Common.
  • Opportunities for play, with people "encouraged to explore and interact with the environment".
  • Features which showcase the site's archaeology.
  • An elevated area of hard surface giving views "from the top of the wall of Castlegate".
  • A public art strategy which will look at how to creatively represent the site's history and heritage.

Other features shown on earlier concept plans published by Now Then – such as a visitor centre, an ‘active pedestrian street’, sculptures,
a seating terrace, an ‘art wall’ and unspecified buildings around the edge of the site – do not appear to be included in the first phase of redevelopment.

Sheffield was also awarded a further £17m from the Levelling Up Fund to support development work in Attercliffe. The Council reported this week that it is considering using the money to buy the former Adelphi Cinema to "transform it into a community space".

Castle site satellite view

A satellite view of the site, which has been vacant since Castle Market was closed in 2015.

Google Maps

Have your say

Members of the public can give feedback on the concept plan for Castlegate in a number of ways until Sunday 20 November:

by Sam Walby (he/him)
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