Garden plan for nightclub

The Niche night club, Sheffield
The Niche night club, Sheffield
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LAND which was once home to a crime-plagued nightclub could be replaced by a green and pleasant development which would bring a second winter garden to Sheffield city centre.

Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board will consider an application for two areas of land between Sidney Street, Matilda Street, Arundel Street and Sylvester Street, at a meeting on Monday.

The proposal, submitted by Cartwright Pickard Architects, involves demolishing buildings including the old Niche nightclub, on Sidney Street, which has been disused since it was shut down by police using a Crack House Closure Order in 2005.

They would be replaced with two blocks providing 90 student flats, another building with 41 other apartments, shop units, a bar, microbrewery and a winter garden.

But the plans have been recommended for refusal due to the excessive size, scale and height of the proposed new buildings, which would be up to seven storeys high.

Planning officers are also unhappy that Speedwell Works and Albert Works, former industrial buildings, are planned for demolition as part of the scheme.

They say the works contribute to the character of the conservation area although neither is listed.

Sheffield Hallam University has criticised the small size of each of the planned student flats and predicts there could be conflict between students and other residents at the development, due to lifestyle differences.

English Heritage said the planned new buildings would look out of place and sit uncomfortably with the general character of the area.

In a report to the planning board, council officials said: “The proposed level of investment in this part of the city is welcomed but this is a very important conservation area.

“It is vitally important to get the balance between economic consideration and conservation right. Unfortunately, this scheme does not achieve the balance.”