Planners need to take a look up the road

The old Castle Market site in Castlegate, where the River Don runs underneath. Sheffield Council hopes to open it up and create a pocket park.
The old Castle Market site in Castlegate, where the River Don runs underneath. Sheffield Council hopes to open it up and create a pocket park.
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The comedy club act that has been part of Sheffield’s town planning over the last 20-odd years should take the short bus ride to our neighbours in nearby Barnsley.

While scheme after scheme in our city has got no further than the last costly plan Barnsley has quietly carried on with its plans to transform its town centre into reality .

Its market area along with the traders who work in it is managing to stay as the centrepiece of its historic area while the new one rises from the ashes.

The council and its planners are doing this by erecting a temporary market hall just yards away from the old buildings , traders are complying with the council’s plans while the old market is demolished around them knowing that within two years both they and their customers will be back trading in the same streets that have been the markets for hundreds of years.

Compare this with Sheffield’s feeble attempt that has completely devastated our city’s historical trading area leaving an important part of our city looking like downtown Detroit .

Further to this our neighbours have plans for further town centre improvements with self-funding of £120 million to a shopping and leisure centre that unlike Sheffield’s grand scheme around Cambridge Street already has anchor tenants queuing up to be part of the plans that will include cinemas and a bowling alley .

To add to this the builders are now on site and working to build the new Barnsley library and learning centre across from the new markets and shopping centre that will be finished by next year so as to allow the old historic library on Market Street to retire gracefully without any disruption to users or staff.

Compare this look-a-head planning with the chaos we rate-payers in Sheffield have to endure where our own geniuses in the Town Hall are talking about giving our own central library away to the Chinese so they can build another hotel that is not needed in our city, all this while there are no plans in progress as to where or even if our own central library will eventually be.

So with site clearances and empty boarded-up buildings around Cambridge and Pinstone Street areas showing no sign of concrete plans as to who will be the anchor tenants, then if and when the building works actually start perhaps our grand planning department can take the short trip to our neighbours up the M1 and see how it is done .

Judd Newton

Burncross