Midcity House: Bid to block demolition fails - amid fears of empty brownfield site in Sheffield city centre
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A bid to halt demolition of a large building in Sheffield city centre has failed after it apparently came too late.
Sheffield Society of Architects asked the city council to block demolition of Midcity House due to the ‘environment, social, and economic impact’ of an empty brownfield site, particularly on new Heart of the City II buildings across the road on Pinstone Street.
But a council spokeswoman implied the application came too late.
She said: "The prior notification application for the demolition of Midcity House was approved on 20th July 2023. It is possible to withdraw permitted development rights under Article 4, but not after prior approval has been granted. Therefore, there is no route for blocking demolition."
Luke Ball, of Sheffield Society of Architects, said he was concerned it could leave "yet another significant empty and derelict site in the heart of the city".
The application to demolish Midcity House was made by Patrick Hanlon, of Union Street Ltd, who is based in Gibraltar. Documents show there are no plans for a new building.
The council spokeswoman said officials planned to discuss the site’s future with the owner "in the near future."
In March, Councillor Janet Ridler - the council’s heritage champion - used Article 4 to block the surprise demolition of the former Mappins Coffee House on London Road, Highfield, calling it "an important historic building".
Demolition set to last until Christmas
Work has already started to take down the Midcity House complex, which includes a four-storey block, a two-storey office on Pinstone Street, and the last remaining Victorian building on Union Street. Hoardings have been set up around the building. It is understood the job will last until Christmas.
A Sheffield resident who objected to demolition said Midcity House should be used until a ‘finalised and financed’ replacement was agreed.
They wrote: "To meet the sustainability goals outlined by the council and its City Centre Stategic Vision, permission to demolish the buildings should be rejected until a clear case had been made for why they could not be made serviceable through refurbishment, retrofit or re-use."