‘Well done Sheffield Council. The Luftwaffe would have been proud of you'

This letter to The Star is from Howard Greaves, Chairman Hallamshire Historic Buildings

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 6:05 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 7:11 am

Sheffield is the proud possessor of a rare and unbroken run of Victorian commercial streetscape on Pinstone Street from Barkers Pool to the bottom of Cambridge Street.

Not for much longer, however, as the demolition of the historic Athol Hotel has now been nodded through by our city planners and councillors, which will break up this stretch. Future generations will look at the 1883 Athol’s dreadful replacement and say ‘who allowed that thing to be plonked there?’

The decision to demolish has been taken despite revelations of the hotel’s history, including sporting and political links. This is obviously outweighed by the powers-that-be salivating at the thought of more juicy rates from the new shops and flats.

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I was at a meeting when the developers stated categorically that they could only create two flats out of the upper floors of the Athol so it was not a financially viable proposition to restore it. This is absolute tosh and, although I am not a qualified builder, I have seen the vast interiors of the building which could easily be converted into several period apartments. Stand outside and look up for yourself; you don’t even need to go inside to see the great potential.

Sheffield Council has once again proved to the world its Philistine attitude to heritage. Even Historic England, (previously English Heritage), has frowned upon this scheme and their views were as follows; “The demolition of the Athol Hotel and 78-82 Pinstone Street and the height and bulk of the proposed eight storey new-build will cause harm to the City Centre Conservation Area.” After all they’re only a national body of experts, so let’s just ignore ’em?

So well done Sheffield Council. The Luftwaffe would have been proud of you.