Saturday, 15 October 2011

News - Outcry over plans to demolish Sheffield city centre building

RESIDENTS are mounting a campaign against plans to knock down a historic building on the edge of Sheffield city centre.

Hambleton House, the former offices of the Passenger Transport Executive, has stood on Exchange Street, off Park Square, since the 1920s.

Since the SYPTE moved into new offices some years ago, the six-storey building has become derelict and now owners South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority Properties Ltd want to knock it down.

Their notification sparked a flurry of letters from 24 concerned residents and city planners have ordered the developers to obtain proper planning permission before they can demolish it.

Gregory Deryckere, of Nether Edge, said: “Exchange Street needs some heritage to retain character in an area blighted with poor architecture. It is one of the only examples of tasteful architecture in the area.”

Glenda Meeson, from Greystones, said: “It seems a shame to destroy yet another old building in Sheffield, especially when so many have gone. We will not see its like again.”

And Neil Keally, of Nether Edge, said: “A city centre building of this stature, history and architectural interest should absolutely not be allowed to be simply demolished.

“The building should be incorporated into a scheme to redevelop the area.”

Now residents are looking into getting the building listed to protect it.

John Haddon, who works for the Integrated Transport Authority properties branch, told the council: “The building is falling into a state of disrepair with increased concerns with security, maintenance and health and safety issues.”

He said the demolition would go ahead between October 17 and January 30 next year, with one storey at a time knocked down.

Now the council has ordered the developers to submit a proper planning application, which may delay the project.

But Mr Haddon said the developers had not yet decided whether to go ahead.

“Although a planning application for demolition has been submitted to Sheffield Council, this was a legal requirement in order that demolition could proceed, as and when the shareholders of this company give their approval, which is by no means certain.

“Other possible options are to refurbish the building and/or work with the council to maintain the building in some format.”


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