Ignominious outcome for two wonderful buildings

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I read with interest that Sheffield’s derelict central post office is to be given a new lease of life (Star, September 20).

But my heart sank on learning that the listed building is to be transformed into a home for up to 279 overseas students as well as teaching accommodation, and that twin towers of student flats will be added which will be 22 storeys and 14 storeys high.

The article states that “building contractors are already on site stripping out areas which do not affect its essential character”.

However, I fear that many important features will be lost and only the facade will remain, as has happened to many other wonderful examples of Victorian architecture around the city.

Also announced is the conversion of another listed building, the former HSBC bank on Church Street, which is to be turned into a Tesco Express store (Star Sept 23).

Built in 1838 the premises are said to be ‘very dilapidated’ but some key features including the ornate banking hall, dome and spiral staircase will hopefully be protected.

These grand old buildings have been badly neglected and desperately need to be brought back into use, but I cannot help but think that student accommodation and a Tesco store are a rather sad and ignominious outcome for two unique buildings of such wonderful character.

Susan Richardson

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