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Meadowhall’s £300m extension gets planning permission

Plans for a £300m extension to Meadowhall shopping centre, which have been described by the centre’s owners as “key” to the Sheffield region, have taken a big step forward after councillors voted unanimously in favour of the proposals.

British Land wants to create a new retail destination - The Leisure Hall, due to open in 2021 - a 1.1 million sq ft multi-level extension under a glazed roof, with added dining and entertainment options, including a cinema, as well as internal and external spaces for events and community use.

After months of negotiations on how best to improve the nearby road network, council planning officers gave a positive recommendation last week and councillors have now decided to grant planning permission. British Land says once built the leisure hall will add £24.7m to the Sheffield city region economy and raise more than £7m for the council in business rates. 

Head of retail, leisure and residential Charles Maudsley said the firm had worked hard with various partners to come up with an “outstanding” development which already had widespread support. He said: “The leisure hall is a key strategic initiative for Sheffield city region. It sits alongside other significant investments in the city centre and elsewhere, and ensures the area continues to play a key role in the UK economy, creating jobs and a skilled workforce.”

Opened in 1990, Meadowhall was at the time was the second largest shopping centre in the UK, covering 1.4m sq ft of floor space and contains 230 retail outlets and 50 places to eat and drink. British Land’s £300m investment is the biggest development at Meadowhall since it opened.

The development has political support, with Clive Betts, member of parliament for Sheffield South East, backing the proposals before Sheffield City Council 's planning committee made the final decision. “I welcome the Leisure Hall proposals as it is vital we support development and the creation of economic prosperity in the Sheffield City Region,” said Betts. “The 1,550 jobs it will create will make a big difference in the immediate locality and I am confident businesses in the region will benefit too,” he said.

Meadowhall centre director Darren Pearce added: “The leisure hall is the latest example of our investment in Meadowhall and follows our £60m refurbishment, which completes this autumn.”