A Sheffield pub which played a key role in football’s evolution would be converted into homes under new plans, it has emerged.
The Plough Inn, on Sandygate Road, in Crosspool, stands opposite the world's oldest football ground, which is home to Hallam FC, and is where some of the earliest rules of the modern game were reputedly drawn up over a pint or two.
It has been closed since 2016 and the new owner, who bought the building the following year, has always declined to comment on its intentions for the site.
But an application to re-site a 4G telecommunications mast down the road, replacing existing equipment on the pub’s grounds, reveals there are plans for housing.
The application, submitted on behalf of Hutchinson & EE, states: “The NTQ (Notice to Quit) site is the Plough Inn, which has recently been bought by developers who have plans to convert the pub into residential with parking. A new site is urgently required to replace the current one.”
The 15-metre mast and accompanying cabinets would be located on the grass verge at 314 Sandygate Road, near the junction with Coldwell Lane, but it is the plans for The Plough which have generated most attention.
Peter Duff, of the Save the Plough and the Sporting Heritage of Sandygate group, said the application ‘confirms what we have assumed for some time' about the new owner’s plans for the site.
He urged people to object to plans for the mast, which he said would be an ‘eyesore’ in a ‘unique setting’, with The Plough and Hallam FC’s ground both being protected Assets of Community Value and Towers Lodge being a Grade II-listed building.
“Our campaign to preserve The Plough has always been about more than just saving a pub. It has been about gaining wider recognition of the historic role of the area in the sporting history of Sheffield,” he added.
“Please say 'NO' to the mast and be prepared for another planning battle to save The Plough,” it added.
People have until next Wednesday, February 27, to make their views known, according to the council’s planning portal, where nine objections are recorded.
Plans to convert The Plough into a Sainsbury’s store were rejected in January 2017 by Sheffield Council, following a campaign to save the pub.
A community group attempted to buy the building, raising funds by selling community shares and getting the support of a mystery buyer, to preserve it as a pub.
But it was outbid by Spacepad Construction, which paid EiGroup £450,000 plus £90,000 VAT in September 2017.
No plans for the site have yet been submitted, and the pub has been listed to let since last year, with a suggested annual rent of £50,000.
Spacepad declined to comment on its plans for the site.
To view the planning application for the mast, visit planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications and search for 19/00405/TEL.