Urban decline and regeneration

Park Hill, Sheffield – Case study
Sheffield used to be a classic example of a city dependent on heavy industry. this had developed because of the area’s natural resources, iron ore, water power and coal. Local entrepreneurs and inventors also played a major role in the growth of the area’s industry.

Park Hill in Sheffield is a huge estate o flats, built up in the 1960s and designed to replace some of the slums left from the 19th and early 20th centuries that housed Sheffield’s factory workers. The new flats had many advantages, with modern amenities such as hot and cold running water and inside toilets, which had been lacking in many of the houses that they replaced. The style of construction also helped to preserve the sense of community, which was lost in some 1960s developments. However, after 40 ears the flats had become run-down and dilapidated.

In parallel, as Park Hill aged, local industry went into steep decline. Many parts of Sheffield’s city centre was devastated by the loss of industry and jobs. Unemployment, environmental blight, social problems and poverty all affected the area. Renewal of the flats was complicated by the fact that they were no longer all owned and let by the local council. Renewal of the old brownfield industrial sites was particularly difficult because the ground was polluted b the waste from the iron and steel making, requiring a massive investment to clean up the area before any redevelopment could take place.

The current plan is a good example of a partnership scheme where the local authority, a housing association and private developers work together. The regeneration of Park Hill is part of a widespread renewal of large areas of inner-city Sheffield and the Done Valley. However, the area has gradually been redeveloped through a combination of public and private investment. developments planned and built during the period of urban renewal include:
Meadowhall shopping complex
The nearby Robin Hood International Airport
Sheffield’s tram system of urban transport
The Don Valley stadium international sports venue
The Advanced Manufacturing Park built by a partnership including Boeing and the University of Sheffield
A new city economic development company, Creative Sheffield. which has been established to bring a variety of developments where art and commence are linked to provide jobs
As this economic change is taking place, Sheffield needs to consider how to redevelop its housing stock.
Park Hill, Sheffield
A £146 million transformation of the Park Hill estate in Sheffield got the go-ahead in January 2007 with an agreement between English Partnerships, Sheffield City Council and developer Urban Splash.

Completed in 1961, the Park Hill estate was the most ambitious inner-city development of it’s time and is recognised as Europe’s largest Grade II listed building. Covering some 13 hectares, the estate contains around 1,000 flats as well as shops, pubs and other community facilities. But to meet the needs and aspirations of the broader housing market renewal partnership, an overhaul of his historic estate was needed.

In a unique funding arrangement, the Housing Corporation committed £9.85 million up front to underpin the affordable hosing for rent and shared equity units, while English Partnerships agreed a £14.8 million grant towards the cost of redeveloping the remainder of the estate. This forward funding has allowed the refurbishment plans to progress more speedily and an additional £5.5 million from Transform South Yorkshire (the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder) is covering the cost of tenant rehousing during the programme. English Heritage has also contributed to £500,000 towards the project costs.

Urban Splash has submitted detailed plans to modernise the total estate an along with Manchester Methodist Housing Association, to create a more balanced community.

The public commitment has brought in more than £100 million investment from the developer who is confident that it will see significant returns from Park Hill as it strives to return the estate to its former glory and restore the pride of the community