Fight to save Sheffield shops is ‘not over’ - protesters vow

Protest outside Sheffield Town Hall over the Devonshire Street plans
Protest outside Sheffield Town Hall over the Devonshire Street plans
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Campaigners have today vowed the ‘fight is not over’ and they will challenge agreed plans to demolish Sheffield shops.

Hundreds of people chanted and waved banners outside Sheffield Town Hall yesterday in protest at the controversial plans for Devonshire Street which had sparked nearly 20,000 objections.

Councillors discussed how ‘difficult’ the decision was and some said they were searching for reasons to refuse it during the two-hour meeting.

But concerns were also raised about the run-down condition of the buildings plus whether it could be refused without an appeal and in the end seven councillors voted for the proposals on balance.


Devonshire Street scheme approved by Sheffield Council despite massive objections

Three were against and one abstained.

Polly Perkins, an independent film producer from Sharrow, said: “I think the decision is a disgrace.

“The fight is definitely not over – we’ll appeal it to judicial review.”

There were also suggestions of launching an online crowdfunding campaign to kick start any appeal – or taking it to a Government ombudsman.

Nick Roscoe, of the Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society, said there were planning reasons that could mean the proposal was rejected.

Afterwards he said the council was geared towards being ‘defensive’ to prevent any possible appeal.

Poet Jonathan Butcher, who started an online petition that grew to have 18,000 signatures, said he was ‘very disappointed.’

He added: “I understand there are issues around the appeal but at the end of the day we pay for these councillors.”

Yesterday’s meeting had to be adjourned to allow more protesters in. The developers are Primesite Ltd but Adam Murray, from agent Coda Planning, spoke in its defence.

Afterwards he said the ‘right decision’ had been made ‘on balance’.

The buildings were in ‘disrepair’ and problems had the ‘potential to become a significant safety risk.’

If no action had been taken the buildings would have become a ‘blight’ to the area and been unable to be occupied.

Mr Murray said that future occupiers would ‘hopefully‘ be local independent businesses.

Deputy council leader Leigh Bramall said the authority’s ‘hands were tied’ by planning laws.

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