Council refuses shops proposal at historic bank

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DEVELOPERS have been refused consent to divide a historic Sheffield bank into two retail units.

Members of Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board rejected the proposals for the former HSBC bank building on Church Street, next door to Cutlers’ Hall.

A meeting of the planning board heard the plans would involve installing a mezzanine floor which would hide the ‘stunning’ ceiling from a large proportion of the ground level of the old banking hall.

The council’s Conservation Advisory Group had objected on the grounds that ‘great care should be taken as the building has one of the grandest interiors of any building in Sheffield’.

The group said signage on the outside would ‘harm’ its appearance and that conversion of the interior would also ‘damage the character of the building’.

The Grade II listed former bank was in use until 2007.

Representatives for the developer argued that their scheme was ‘sensitive’ and that a national retailer had been lined up for one of the two units.

Sheffield Council planning officer Howard Baxter said: “There are other options for the building which haven’t been explored enough.”

Councillors agreed.