CAMPAIGNERS say they fear for the future of historic buildings after a controversial Sheffield planning battle took its final twist.
The demolition of the grade II listed Edwardian wing of the former Jessop Hospital can go ahead after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles decided not to ‘call in’ planning permission granted by Sheffield Council.
Thousands of people signed a petition against plans from the University of Sheffield to see the building turned into an £81 million engineering block.
Howard Greaves, of the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society, said: “It’s disgraceful.
“Sheffield Council and Sheffield University should hang their heads in shame.
“It’s a very sad day for Sheffield and it sets a dangerous precedent.
“It is tragic because there was an easy alternative - the building could have been incorporated into the design and everybody would have been happy.”
The University of Sheffield welcomed the decision.
Construction on the building is expected to begin later this year, with the building operational by 2016.
Keith Lilley, director of estates and facilities management, said: “We are extremely pleased we can now begin to progress this essential new development – the centrepiece for a £154 million investment in our engineering estate.
“We are committed to investing in a high quality, stunning building which will be the centrepiece for the Faculty of Engineering’s continued success and a source of enormous pride for the city.”
See tomorrow’s Star for more on this story.