Cole Brothers Sheffield: MP Paul Blomfield slams Historic England listing U-turn
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Paul Blomfield, whose Sheffield Central constituency has the former John Lewis building at its heart, said he was confident owner Sheffield City Council would make the best of it ‘but there will be lots of difficulties'.
And he harked back to 2001 when Historic England rejected an application to list the Barker’s Pool building stating ‘it does not quite come up to the very high standard required for the listing of post-war buildings'.
Mr Blomfield said: “Historic England have reversed their previous assessment of the building and created real challenges with this decision.
“Our post-war heritage is important but the last review concluded that the John Lewis building did not meet the high standards required for listing.
“Given the structural issues facing the building, Grade 2 status will impose huge costs on the council as the landlord and limit the city’s options in redeveloping this important site.
“It’s a decision which comes without financial support or recognition of the consequences. I’m confident that the council will make the best of the situation, but there’ll be lots of difficulties.”
Experts say the 60-year-old building needs a total revamp costing up to £65m.
Historic England says it now has a ‘much better understanding of the architectural context nationally into which the former Cole Brothers’ store in Sheffield sits’.
The authority is in the process of selling it to a developer with a decision due by November.