The rear of a historic Sheffield city centre building has attracted so much anti-social behaviour it has become ‘dangerous and unhygienic’ for the business and residential tenants who are forced to use it.
A service yard to the rear of Telegraph House on High Street, the former home of the Sheffield Star and Telegraph newspapers, has seen drug taking and dealing, rough sleeping, people rummaging through bins and aggressive and threatening behavior towards tenants.
According to a planning application put in by the building’s owners to fence off the area, there have also been occasions where human faeces and knives have been found, and when the Star visited the area on Tuesday, the yard was filled with human waste.
The planning application, which has recently been approved by Sheffield Council, provides for the area to be secured by two pairs of double metal doors to halfway the height of the entrance, with the rest infilled with a metal mesh.
The decision was approved earlier this month by Sheffield Council on condition that the shutters were powder coated in cream paint matching the walls, in accordance with the details in the heritage statement.
The building - which dates to the beginning of the last century - is Grade II Listed and sits within the city centre conservation area.
Councillor Douglas Johnson, Green Party councillor for the city centre ward, said the gates seemed like a ‘sensible solution to a sad problem’.
He said: “The photos clearly show rubbish abandoned by people who have been begging and injecting drugs so it is right that the building’s owners address this issue by improving security and disrupting anti-social behaviour.
“The City Ward councillors spend a lot of time on the issue of begging, homelessness and people with complex needs who congregate in the city centre. We also get regular reports of people using bin stores for bedding down or drug-taking.
“I am also pleased to see they have benefited from the advice from the planning team. It is a listed building so it is still important to fit new doors that are in keeping with the rest of the building, even though it is just a side entrance.”
Coun Johnson also noted that South Yorkshire Police were also supportive of the plan on the basis it would improve security.
The owners of the building were not immediately available for comment.