A SIGNIFICANT new development will breathe new life into a former steelworks site in Sheffield, creating two distribution logistics units in the first phase of development, totalling 180,000 sq ft.

BE Design, the multi-disciplinary architecture and engineering practice, has provided comprehensive site due diligence work and ongoing civil and structural engineering services for Bessemer Park, which will see a formerly derelict site transformed into a modern, logistics hub, creating hundreds of new jobs for Yorkshire.

“We worked closely with the site’s developers Peel Logistics Properties and project managers Knight Webb to secure planning permission through detailed site appraisal and design,” said Dian Coleman, associate director at BE Design.

“As part of our services, we scoped comprehensive site investigation works and reviewed historical records.

“We then completed a full due diligence assessment of the brownfield site. Not only is the site on a former steelworks, it is also on the side of an historic valley along the line of Shepcote Lane, which has been infilled. This has created highly variable ground conditions across almost 50 acres – ranging from one to eight metres – which has required careful navigation.

“We also discovered that the site has a high water table, meaning that there was a natural water level close to the surface, impacting the depth at which we would be able to dig.

“To mitigate this, dynamic compaction ground improvement process techniques have been adopted in targeted areas across the site, alleviating the need to dig below the water table.

“As the development of greenbelt land becomes more and more contentious, we’re seeing an increase in brownfield sites being redeveloped. This can present more challenges but, in the long term, it’s certainly more sustainable and can provide businesses with the real potential to turn derelict land into ideally located – and profitable – space.

“We’ve been involved in the scheme for a number of years so are very pleased to see work progressing onsite. It is a large regeneration project for the area, on a site that’s been derelict for some time, so it’s encouraging to see it now unlocked for future employment. I also look forward to phase two coming forward in the near future.”

The scheme, which is due to complete by the end of the year, is being developed by Peel Logistics Properties. Neil Dickinson from Peel Logistics Properties said: “This is great news for Sheffield and we are very pleased to have secured a prime site like this – ideally placed to serve both national and urban logistics occupiers.”

The site is situated at Junction 34 on the M1 and is being delivered by J F Finnegan. It is being marketed by joint agents Moriarty & Company, CBRE and Knight Frank.

Find out more about BE Design at www.bedesign.co.uk or join the conversation on Twitter @B_E_Design. BE Design also sponsored Sheffield City Region at MIPIM this year.