Students fight pub plans

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Students have launched a campaign to save a popular campus pub which could face demolition as part of the new Sheffield University 10-year masterplan.

A petition protesting against plans to to knock down the University Arms on Western Bank has already attracted over 1,000 signatures, with students, staff, residents and former students all giving their support.

The fight is being led by the university’s Liberal Democrat student group, who staged a demonstration outside the building.

It was opened to the public as a real ale pub with a large beer garden in 2007 after previously being a private club for university staff.

The pub was also a popular venue during this year’s Tramlines Festival.

Group leader Harry Matthews, 21, said the demolition proposals were buried deep in the 109-page document and were clearly the preferred option.

“We don’t think the university is being very up-front about this and it’s all the more annoying as a lot of money has just been spent on refurbishing it,” he said.

“This is a good pub in an attractive building and its demolition would be a great loss to students, staff and residents.”

Keith Lilley, the university’s director of estates and facilities management, said: “The masterplan sets out a vision for the university campus over the next 10 years and includes some initial ideas for the Hounsfield area where we want to develop a vital new building for the Faculty of Science and a public square.

“A range of possible approaches for this area are introduced in the plan, but at this stage they are simply options to be explored. No firm decisions have been taken and the consultation currently under way gives everyone in the university community and the city the chance to have their say.

“The results of the consultation will be taken into account as we develop detailed plans for any individual developments and each would be subject to a separate planning application.”