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Park Hill to be developed for student accommodation

Developers hope it will be perfect for second, third and post-grad students

For phase three of Park Hill's redevelopment, property developers, Urban Splash, have teamed up with student accommodation developer, Alumno Developments, to transform one of the derelict wings into student accommodation for 350 students. There also plans to include a shop, gym, cafe or pub.

Developers hope that the accommodation will be ready for the academic year 2020/21. There will be four and eight bedroom flats, all with shared living areas.

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Development Manager at Alumno, Richard Syddal, has said that the accommodation will be marketed at second and third years students, as well as postgrads. It is hoped that these students might want to rent or buy one of Park Hill's residential flats after they graduate.

First years will be allowed as well, as Syddal is not worried that rowdy students will disturb other residents. He added that, "Students aren't really interested in going out and socialising all the time, they're quite interested in getting on with their courses." Has he met any students recently? If the redevelopment relies on students being quiet and hard-working, he might want to think again.

Some feel that plans to turn Park Hill into student accommodation is inappropriate, considering the building's initial purpose was to provide social housing. The city is already full of student accommodation, and it is likely that the new Park Hill spot will be expensive to rent.

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In 2016, Sheffield's 'tent city' was set up at Park Hill to provide the homeless with a safe place to sleep, and highlight the scale of homelessness in the city. The tents were disbanded last year to make way for more redevelopment.

Urban Splash's Regeneration Director, Mark Latham, who has worked on Park Hill's redevelopment for more than 12 years believes that the redevelopment will unite the city's different communities, saying that, "To think that in two more years' time we'll have two-thirds of the estate finished is so exciting, with such a variety of inhabitants, and to stay true to what we want, which is to create a mixed community which is really lively and with lots of different uses as well."

Some may say it's a bit of an eyesore, but Sheffield's Grade II listed building might soon be the hub of the city.