Blaze-hit business owners have blasted Sheffield Council for ‘preventing’ them from getting back on their feet.
City Wholesale in Worthing Road, Attercliffe, was completely destroyed following a plastics infeno at a nearby building.
The firm was forced to axe its three employees and rent new premises in Shepcote Lane, but has been operating at a loss ever since.
Owners Dennis and Kathleen Wragg have submitted plans for a rebuild on Worthing Road, to city bosses with the same design as the previous one.
But they claim the council has insisted they must apply for full planning permission for a new build - which could take up to eight weeks to reach a committee meeting.
Kathleen, aged 61, said: “Everything is exactly the same - the same land, same area, even the doors and windows are in the same place.
“They’re saying it’s a new build. If it was a rebuild we could get started immediately and I could put people back in work.
“At the moment I am using my savings to keep us alive here, but I don’t think I can last eight weeks.”
City Wholesale begged for customers to stay with them following the July fire, during which plumes of smoke across Sheffield were visible from more than 30 miles away.
The couple were concerned they would lose business after 34 years of hard graft and more than 20 years at the Worthing Road site.
Mrs Wragg also applied to the council for a rate rebate on the grounds of hardship, after being forced to move to the costlier Shepcote Lane, but she is yet to receive anything.
She said: “This shows the council does nothing for the people of Sheffield.
“We’ve been in business for more than 30 years.
“If I can’t get started again there will be three people out of work and myself as well, all claiming benefits because they’re unemployed. What would they rather?”
Sheffield Council said it received the application on October 18 and is still processing it.