Two of Sheffield’s recent city centre schemes have won regional awards for their significant contribution to enhancing the local area.
In its centenary year, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) recently celebrated the high quality planning work carried out in the Yorkshire region.
There was a particular emphasis on projects that are original and of regional significance, especially in highlighting how the project led to the enhancement of the physical environment.
They were looking to see how the projects led to a recognisable social and economic benefit in terms of greater human happiness, safety and efficiency.
Sheffield’s Nursery Street and Edward Street Breathing Spaces were given a special ‘Highly Commended’ award by the RTPI.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development said: “Both these projects are fully deserving of this award. They both have met an identified need in their local areas and have become valuable assets by being both practical and having many environmental advantages.
”I would like to congratulate the officers who developed these award-winning schemes. They have maintained the exceptionally high standards achieved in the other public areas across the city centre that contribute towards making this such a special city to live and work.”
Notes for editors:
The Great Flood of 2007 severely affected the proposed riverside business district and those areas identified for mixed use development. A major breach in the bank of the River Don occurred on Nursery Street and the need for new flood defences was identified.
A demand for more open spaces in that area had been highlighted by an earlier feasibility study, so the opportunity was taken to combine resources to produce a scheme to cover this and the flood reduction requirements.
Environment Agency funding was matched with Section 106 contributions from city centre residential developments in a process formalised by the Breathing Spaces Strategy.
Following consultation with a number of interested groups, a park was developed with new riverside walls constructed from natural stone and a terraced area that allows easy access to the water’s edge, which is used as a canoe deck by a local club. The park is landscaped with trees and exotic bulbs, and finished with a perimeter boundary that acts as a permanently raised flood defence wall.
The park was completed in 2012 and has transformed the image of the area. It is regularly used by local residents and office workers and acts as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the wider area.
An annual festival of the rivers of Sheffield, ‘Riverlution’ is held in the park to celebrate the city’s waterways and the activities around them.
The resident population of Sheffield city centre rose from 3,000 in 2001 to over 16,000 by 2011. There was a need for new public space in the St Vincent’s Quarter of the city, especially in view of the significant increase in student accommodation in that area.
Consultation with local residents and businesses took place and funding identified from the INTERREG supported Value Plus programme administered by the South Yorkshire Forest. This was matched through the Breathing Spaces Strategy with pooled Section 106 contributions towards the provision of new or improved open spaces.
A series of terraces were created to make full use of the challenging hillside location and a shared surface formed from repaving Edward Street, which had previously split the two pieces of land.
A new artificial events area with basketball hoops and a power source for outdoor events were introduced and complemented by sitting walls from natural stone, tree planting, flower borders and public art developed by a local artist were integrated into the overall design.
Edward Street Park was officially opened in Autumn 2013.
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