UPDATE: Plans to demolish Devonshire Street shops including book and music store Rare and Racy have been approved by Sheffield Council today despite massive objections and a petition with 18,000 signatures against it.
The proposals for traders on Devonshire Street, which would see apartments, a restaurant and a shop built in their place, is today being heard by councillors and the public.
Planning officers have recommended that the plans - which affect a site that survived air raid bombings during World War Two - be approved.
They say the weight that can be given to the buildings’ conservation is ‘limited’ and they will have a ‘relatively positive impact’ on the area.
But there has been a massive public outcry both since the application was submitted and the recommendation was published - with almost 20,000 people signing petitions or submitting letters.
Hundreds of people descended on Sheffield Town Hall to make their voices heard about the plans, with protesters waving placards outside the Town Hall.
Chants of ‘Save Devonshire Street’ were heard inside the chamber as the meeting got underway. Planning director for Coda Adam Murray told the meeting: “The fact of the matter is we are Sheffield people, we care about Sheffield and I am a Sheffield lad. I care about the city hugely.
“This scheme will have a positive overall impact.”
But protesters at the meeting also made their voices heard.
“Character cannot be designed, it is developed over time”, said Adam Clark from Devonshire Street.
He added that independent businesses were ‘not even made aware’ of the plans.
At one point the meeting had to be adjourned to allow more protesters to come inside.
Additional objections being read out in meeting included: “This can’t be rebuilt. Once gone it’s gone forever.”
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