£1m apartments plan for Cathedral row

All of St James Row, except for the Blue Moon cafe at left, is set to become flats
All of St James Row, except for the Blue Moon cafe at left, is set to become flats
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A historic row of offices next to Sheffield Cathedral is set to be converted into apartments as the demand for city living continues to soar.

Numbers 7 to 15 St James Row - one of the city’s most prestigious addresses and within earshot of the cathedral choir - are set to be vacated by law firm hlw Keeble Hawson and converted into one and two-bed flats for rent by young professionals.

The Grade II listed buildings date back to 1786, when the oldest part was built as a girls’ charity school.

It has been used as offices for decades, but owner Broomgrove Properties submitted conversion plans after the law firm announced plans to move out by June 2016.

A planning report for the applicant states they are ‘important historic fabric of the post medieval period’, adding, ‘the buildings form the visual backdrop to the Cathedral, a Grade I listed building, and form the western edge of the Cathedral yard, one of the most important open spaces in the city centre.’

Tony Choker, director of Thornsett Properties which owns Broomgrove, said it was an up-and-coming residential area with increasing numbers of independent businesses including Couch, Urban Deli and Chambers barbers.

He added: “I’m very excited, it’s a very special row of buildings. I’m looking forward to getting on site next year.” The £1m conversion is set to be complete in 2017, he added.

Another planning statement says, ‘the development will deliver much-needed housing, against a major shortfall in the city’ and it ‘will secure the long-term future of an important and potentially vulnerable heritage asset’.

Paul Trudgill, managing partner of hlw Keeble Hawson, said all the buildings had been knocked through and new starters often got lost due to the number of little offices, corridors and staircases.

“They are beautiful buildings, I used to enjoy listening to choir practice in the cathedral on Thursday evenings.” All staff will relocate to their offices at Commercial House on Commercial Street.