Old Coroner's Court: £21m Sheffield apartments plan spells demolition for heritage building

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The site has been 'awaiting redevelopment' for about 20 years

New plans for a £21m apartment block in Sheffield spell the end of a long planning battle over a heritage building.

Developers have submitted proposals for flats on the site of the Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street, built in 1913.

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They include designs for 102 studios - one room and a bathroom - one and two-bed homes, a gym, work space, terrace, dining room and ‘podcasting studio’.

Developers have submitted plans for a £21m apartment block on the site of the Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street.
Developers have submitted plans for a £21m apartment block on the site of the Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street.
Developers have submitted plans for a £21m apartment block on the site of the Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street. | Valerie Bayliss, right, and CODA, left.

It is the second big development announced on Nursery Street this year in what is being promoted as a new neighbourhood called Wicker Island, bounded by the River Don and Derek Dooley Way.

It also marks the end of campaigning to save the building which started in 2019 when a different developer submitted demolition plans. It later went bust. The same year, long-awaited proposals for a Castlegate Conservation Area, which could have protected the building, were “cancelled out of the blue.”

Douglas Johnson, Green Party councillor for Sheffield’s City ward, and campaign groups Joined Up Heritage and Hallamshire Historic Buildings were among those who fought the original demolition notice. The building, which is not listed, features a coroners’ court, mortuary, post mortem rooms and viewing chapel. It went up for sale last year.

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Now Parklane Group of Leeds is taking it forward. Last month demolition work started at the rear of the building.

Haaris Ahmed, of the Parklane Group, said: “By focusing on the Wicker area, PLG aims to contribute significantly to the neighbourhood's renewal, creating a vibrant community hub that attracts residents and visitors alike.

“The Nursery Street scheme is envisioned as a catalyst for further development, bringing new life and energy to this key part of Sheffield.”

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Previous Sheffield schemes include turning a former bakery in the Castlegate area into 12 one-bedroom apartments, he added.

Matt Bowker, director at CODA architects, said the site had been awaiting redevelopment for about 20 years.

He added: “Following the regeneration of Kelham Island and Neepsend, the Wicker Riverside is the logical next step in the redevelopment of this part of the city centre.

“We feel the success of this application will be a key towards unlocking the next phase of vital regeneration.”

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A £50m development of upmarket flats could be the spark for a new residential neighbourhood in an industrial part of Sheffield city centre.Laurel Works on Nursery Street would feature 268 apartments in three blocks in the newly-named area of 'Wicker Island'. 
Developers Brickland hope to start on site in summer.A £50m development of upmarket flats could be the spark for a new residential neighbourhood in an industrial part of Sheffield city centre.Laurel Works on Nursery Street would feature 268 apartments in three blocks in the newly-named area of 'Wicker Island'. 
Developers Brickland hope to start on site in summer.
A £50m development of upmarket flats could be the spark for a new residential neighbourhood in an industrial part of Sheffield city centre.Laurel Works on Nursery Street would feature 268 apartments in three blocks in the newly-named area of 'Wicker Island'. Developers Brickland hope to start on site in summer. | brickland

In February, The Star revealed plans by Liverpool developers Brickland for a £50m apartment development on the site of the former Sheffield Testing Laboratories also on Nursery Street.

At the time chief operating officer Darren Leary said: “It’s close to the L&G West Bar Square scheme, which itself was a long time coming. But hopefully that activity together with our revisions will help get things moving."

Sheffield City Council’s City Vision Document 2022 states Wicker Island will be a new ‘city core neighbourhood’.

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