Meadowhall’s £300m expansion has been approved by planners in Sheffield this week, despite objections from the Green Party.
Councillor Brian Holmshaw, the Green Party’s representative on the planning and highways committee, voted against the expansion saying: “The 35,000 square metres of concrete, tarmac and brick of the Meadowhall extension represents a danger to Sheffield’s city centre, to our small businesses and to our environment.”
This comes after the council released a report on the development where it admitted Sheffield city centre was fragile.
It has predicted a two per cent impact on city centre trade, resulting in dozens of family-owned businesses, jobs lost, and more indirectly affected.
The council has yet to completely finish The Heart of the City II and The Moor scheme, which is substantially completed but still in its third phase.
There are plans for a fifth phase of The Moor scheme which is currently the subject of a planning application.
Rotherham City Council is also unhappy at the prospect of the new development as it fears it will further withdraw footfall from local areas and the city centre.
There are concerns surrounding Meadowhall’s new leisure quarter threatening the Rotherham Forge Island development, which is currently in the second phase of building.
Cllr Holmshaw said: “Those of us around in the 1990s saw how damaging Meadowhall was to city centre trade then, a legacy that lives with us now. Why would we want to further damage our city’s economy well into the future?”
The development is going to include a gym, a bar, a car showroom and an expansion of the current VUE cinema.
Sheffield City Council and Meadowhall declined to comment on the development.