Protest over Sheffield shops decision

Devonshire Street
Devonshire Street
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Campaigners are set to protest outside a council meeting which will decide controversial plans for Sheffield shops.

The proposals are to knock down buildings occupied by independent traders on Devonshire Street and replace them with flats, a restaurant and a retail unit.

The scheme is due to go before Sheffield Council’s planning committee for a decision tomorrow.

The plans are recommended for approval – despite 20,000 objections including the largest petition recorded in Sheffield and opposition from well-known city faces, including Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.

Nick Roscoe, of Hallamshire Historic Buildings, is among those planning to attend the meeting.

He said: “In the face of such massive condemnation it’s difficult to believe they could allow this.”

Mr Roscoe said he hoped councillors would overturn the recommendation from planning officers – saying there were ‘valid material considerations’ that could be applied lawfully.

Mike Fox, of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “These buildings are much-loved, undesignated heritage assets of demonstrable local importance, that are vital to the character of the Devonshire Green area.

“SAVE urges the committee to apply a reasoned judgement in this matter, taking notice of the very strong public feeling to this proposal.”

Coda Planning, agent for the developers, said the development would ‘rejuvenate a block falling into disrepair’ and improve the area.

It insists the new buildings will respect the character of the quarter and be ‘almost identical’ in appearance, as well as allowing ‘occupancy to continue.’

The report before councillors also says the plans will have a ‘relatively positive impact’ on the area.