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Former HSBC to be demolished to make way for student flats

The former HSBC building.
The former HSBC building.
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Developers are hoping to demolish a bank in Sheffield City Centre to make way for a new tower block to accommodate more than 650 students and young professionals.

The complex is proposed on the site of the former HSBC building on Hoyle Street and would comprise 247 residential units.

The planning report states: “The application site comprises of land that is bounded by Doncaster Street, Ellis Street, Meadow Street and Hoyle Street.

“The site has a prominent position immediately adjacent to the Ring Road which is the main gateway into the city from the north.

“The site is previously developed and currently contains a four-storey office building that was occupied by HSBC until 2016 but is now vacant.

“This building is situated on the southern half of the site with the remaining land predominantly used as surface car parking and soft landscaping. The surface car parking is currently being used as a temporary public car park.”

A Grade II-listed furnace tower from Sheffield’s industrial hayday, which also stands on the site, will not be demolished as part of the proposed development.

The report states: “This furnace, which is surrounded by the surface parking described above relates to a former use of the site as a steelworks.

“Designed for the manufacture of blister steel, the original raw material for crucible steel, it was built in the mid-nineteenth century and remained in use until 1952.

“It takes the form of a conical tower with coped flanking walls on two sides and is the sole survivor of a characteristic industrial building once numerous on the site and in Sheffield. “This cementation furnace is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade II Listed Building.”

Historic England is not opposing the application, stating that while the development “will cause some harm to the heritage significance of the site, the development will also secure the long term conservation and management of the scheduled monument.

“The application includes positive proposals to better reveal the wider significance of the site and it is essential that these measures are firmly secured and implemented,” the report states.

Whilst the development is primarily aimed at students, it would be designated ‘mixed use’, allowing non-students to reside in the premises as well.

The current HSBC building has no significant historical or architectural value, the report states.

“The site’s existing main office building was constructed during the 1950s and is very distinct from other buildings in the area in terms of its design and siting within the plot,” it states.

“It has no local distinctiveness, limited architectural merit, and is situated outside the Furnace Hill Conservation Area boundary.

“The office building is currently vacant and deteriorating in appearance, thus providing little or no visual and use amenity value.”

The application is recommended for approval on the condition that developers pay a sum of £78,127.56 to Sheffield City Council for traffic management..

It will be considered at a meeting of the authority’s planning and highways committee at the Town Hall on Tuesday, August 14.