Gentrification is a price worth paying

University teams up with Henderson's to develop plans for pub
University teams up with Henderson's to develop plans for pub
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How strangely the principles of historic and architectural building conservation are adhered to here in Sheffield.

The former Henderson’s Relish Factory in Leavygreave is to be turned into a pub by the University of Sheffield, a commendable proposal despite the fact that the building has little intrinsic historical or architectural merit.

Has this been done because of sentiment or public concern over the demolition of the listed Jessop extension?

Actually Henderson’s premises, when compared to recent developments in the area, does provide some character.

Will a similar stance be taken as regards the unlisted but handsome St Philip’s and St George’s Vicarages in Brook Hill, one of which is the pleasant University Arms?

Recently, other reprobates like myself have commented, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the Blitz, on the damage done to the city in the post-war period.

This is a national trait sadly and in Sheffield, one writer has argued, it dates at least as far back as the demolition of the castle.

The loss of Rare and Racy, the evisceration of Cambridge Street, check out the former John Lewis Sports Store for an early example of facadism, is this the way we should go forward?

Why can’t we adopt conservation strategies like Nottingham and Dover?

This was an aspiring City of Culture in recent years yet heritage and its associated tourism opportunities is an area we have gone backwards on.

Its’ only friends groups and like-minded conservation groups who can appear to see this in Sheffield, along with a few sympathetic councillors and council officers.

Members of the business community, academics and ordinary Sheffielders have expressed to me their concerns over the way the cityscape is evolving.

Yet this is seen as a Middle England concern and scorned. Why?

One of the issues that the movers and shakers in the city are loath to mention is that certain areas of the city will only go forward if they are ‘gentrified’, an awful phrase, I know. Is that too high a price? Of course not.

It’s telling that the issue I have to finish on is the one that’s caused me to put pen to paper or one finger to keyboard in all these years of corresponding to the Star/Telegraph.

Ron Clayton

Reichenbach Falls, S6