John Lewis drops Sheffield Sevenstone move

Sheffield's Sevenstone development Development of the Sevenstone retail quarter has been on hold for several years

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The flagship store earmarked for Sheffield's new retail quarter has said it is no longer seeking to move.

John Lewis was due to open a new store in the Sevenstone development but the project was put on hold in 2008 due to the economic slump.

The company said it was no longer to looking to leave Barker's Pool, which is within the Sevenstone project area.

The city council admitted the project had "stalled" but developers would seek a new flagship tenant.

A John Lewis spokesman said it would look to refurbish its existing department store.

He added: "John Lewis is working closely with Sheffield City Council and the developer Hammerson to find a viable solution and create a scheme which represents a positive step-change for Sheffield city centre as a retail destination."

'Not doom and gloom'

The firm said, despite its original commitment expiring, it was still in talks with Hammerson and the city council.

Brian Lodge, deputy leader of the Labour-led council, said: "John Lewis have taken a decision that suits their business plan at the moment and their operation."

Mr Lodge said Hammerson was still committed to the delayed project and was now seeking a new flagship tenant.

"I'm confident we'll still see a scheme that goes through and that brings life back into the city centre.

"It's not doom and gloom. It's stalled.

'Revised scheme'

"We all want to see it go ahead and we're just working with everybody to get this moving because Sheffield really needs it."

Mr Lodge said the development was an opportunity for big retailers to come into the city centre.

Richard Brown, project director for Hammerson, said the department store was an "important part" of the scheme.

"We are currently working on a revised scheme and are in the early stages of sharing initial designs with the council, John Lewis and other potential retailers.

"We are working with them, looking at various locations for an anchor store within the scheme."

It is expected that work will start on the Sevenstone scheme next year.

It will cover 20 acres (80,937 sq m), equal to roughly half the size of the city's Meadowhall shopping centre, and house about 100 shops.

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