Devonshire Street shopping plan undervalues heritage

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I must apologise to Paul Kenny (Letters, April 9) if I caused him “dismay” with my recent letter. about the Devonshire Street shops plan. The tone of his letters do not convey him as a super-sensitive soul, so I must have misjudged him.

I feel strongly about the Devonshire Street proposal, particularly as my dear father passed awa in one of these premises when he was a tenant.

I have most certainly not politicised the redevelopment but have in fact politicised the entire letter. The gist of my comments was that anything and everything, be it planning permissions or parking charges, is steamrollered through in Sheffield due to the political makeup of the city.

Paul states that the council has limited powers but I would argue the opposite applies. As stated in the National Planning Policy Framework, where there is a possibility that heritage assets may be harmed it has to be justified, and value judgements have to made. As these are the oldest remaining shops in Sheffield, the council has undervalued the heritage aspect; it should take note of the NPPF and adhere to the regulations. But the council was not prepared to risk an appeal.

If it had wanted to stop the scheme it could have extended the City Centre Conservation Area or pointed out the effect on the nearby Listed Buildings and character of the area, or mentioned that ancient coal workings underneath the site could hamper a newbuild.

The point is that by redeveloping the site and extending it backwards onto the spare land at the rear (which was the whole idea all along), more juicy rates will be shovelled into the council coffers.

Who cares that a rare (but not very racy) piece of Georgian streetscape will be lost forever? At least 20,000 people actually.

HJ Greaves