IT was once one of Sheffield’s plushest hotels but now stands decaying and vandalised.
Eight years after the last guests checked out of the former Hallam Tower Hotel there has been no apparent progress on plans to redevelop the site as apartments which were approved more than two years ago.
Planning permission for the scheme to convert the landmark tower into flats and build ‘townhouses’ in the grounds expires in December this year.
Meanwhile, pictures of the smashed-up interior of the hotel, on Fulwood Road, Broomhill, have been posted on the internet by ‘Urban Explorers’ who explore empty buildings.
Sheffield Council has written to the current owner, Hallam Grange Limited, based at Prospect Farm, Bradfield, giving them 14 days to provide a list of measures to improve the current appearance of the building.
The hotel, which closed in 2004, was opened in 1965 ahead of when England hosted the football World Cup the following years, and in its heyday welcomed top names in showbiz including Elton John, Cilla Black, Bob Geldof and Gloria Estefan.
Guests enjoyed unrivalled views across the city and into the Peak District National Park.
But Peter Horton, a Sheffield University academic, said: “What was once an iconic Sheffield landmark is now, after almost 10 years of neglect, a horrible blight on the Sheffield landscape. Whilst principally most affecting the immediate neighbourhood, it should be of interest to anyone who cares about Sheffield.
“Whilst I can see that in the current financial climate a development of this kind could be delayed or even cancelled, the current situation is a matter of great concern to the Broomhill community.”
Mr Horton said residents are concerned about the ‘strong negative impact’ the building has on the environment and quality of life of people in the suburb, plus risk posed by intruders and the danger of fire.
A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Planning permission granted in November 2009 has not been implemented. It expires in December 2012, with no sign of it being implemented at present.
“We’ve been contacted by other developers interested in the site, but not for a while, and it is our understanding that the current owner’s valuation of the site does not accord with that of potential purchasers.
“We are aware of the building’s condition, and have been in contact with the owners to secure improvements to the appearance of the building.