Council allows Sheffield charity's DJ nights despite concerns about 'catastrophic' gas leak from steelworks

Eagle Works in Stevenson Road, Attercliffe
Eagle Works in Stevenson Road, Attercliffe
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A Sheffield arts charity will be able to host late-night events near a steelworks despite health and safety concerns.

Sheffield Council today granted permission for Creative Arts Development Space, known as Cads, to run DJ nights at Eagle Works in Stevenson Road, Attercliffe, later this month.

Cads trustee Steve Rimmer.

Cads trustee Steve Rimmer.

The authority's environmental health officers and the fire service both objected to the plans. They said it was too much of a risk to hold events near the Outokumpu steelworks, about 200 metres away, where highly noxious materials such as hydrofluoric acid are used.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's emergency planning officer said there was a risk people would die if a 'catastrophic failure' led to the release of fumes.

He said normal safety warnings, such as a siren on the steelworks site or a phonecall, might not be heard at an event where loud music was playing - and even if they were, the proximity of Eagle Works to the steelworks might mean it would be too late.

"The concern is about being able to tell the people at the venue in the middle of the night that they need to stay inside and keep all doors and windows closed," he added.

Mr Parramore said it was 'very easy' to say such a catastrophe would never happen.

But both the council and the fire service had to be prepared for someone making a mistake, equipment failing or sabotage, he added.

Mr Parramore and council officers said they would have to object to any similar applications in the future.

Cads was granted a licence for a similar event on September 30, which went ahead despite last-minute concerns from the fire service and environmental health.

Trustee Steve Rimmer told the licensing committee that the security team at the upcoming events, on October 21, 28 and 29, would be able to respond immediately to a warning, and people could be quickly contained within the building and away from any fumes.

He said Cads - which took a 15-year lease on Eagle Works in 2016 - would suffer a big financial hit if it could not host events there, despite the presence of artists' studios.

And he also questioned why the charity had not yet been given any informal advice about safety near the steelworks.

After almost an hour of deliberation and legal advice, councillors decided to allow the events. They urged Cads to work with the fire service to ensure the correct procedures were in place in case of an emergency.

"We are not taking the risk lightly," said chairman Coun Josie Paszek.