Almost 2,000 people have signed an online petition opposing plans to demolish buildings in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter to make way for new student accommodation and private housing.
A renewal of planning permission is being sought by Elmsdale Estates to knock down a series of warehouses and industrial buildings around Matilda Street, Sidney Street, Arundel Street and Sylvester Street.
But artists, musicians and small businesses based in the quarter are campaigning against the scheme.
Planning permission was granted in October 2011 but needs to be renewed as work has not started within the legal limit of three years.
An online petition started by musician Ed Crisp, who uses one of the buildings to practise with his band Best Friends, has now attracted around 1,800 signatures.
More than 100 objections have also been submitted to Sheffield Council, ahead of a decision being made at the end of this month.
Mr Crisp, 24, from Hunters Bar, said: “There are a lot of people who feel really strongly about it.
“It is a lot of passionate creative people who understand getting rid of areas like this is detrimental to the city as a whole.
“It is an issue of the identity of the city.”
He added: “If people had known about this planning permission three years ago, it might have stood more of a chance of being stopped.”
A design and access statement in support of the proposals from Cartwright Pickard Architects said some of the buildings would be retained and repaired.
In addition to the student and private housing, a new microbrewery and office space would be built.
It said the buildings due to be demolished are of ‘little architectural merit’.
Coun Jillian Creasy, Green Party member for the Central ward, said it may be a couple of years before work starts on demolition.
She said: “The current application is a technical process to keep the application ‘live’. The developer is unlikely to start substantive work for a couple of years.”
Coun Creasy said she understands Elmsdale Estates also own the Gatecrasher site and plans to develop that first before potentially moving on to these buildings.
n See the petition at www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-save-our-cultural-industries-quarter.