Developers appeal after council refuses plans to redevelop historic site in Sheffield

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Developers are appealing after their plans to redevelop the site of a historic Sheffield building were thrown out by councillors.

There has been an ongoing battle about the Old Coroner's Court on Nursery Street in the city centre, which came to a head when members of Sheffield Council’s planning board refused plans to develop the site last October.

Developer Firestone wanted to build 77 apartments, but councillors rejected the design, saying it was ‘plain’ and ‘unattractive’ and would not fit in with the heritage of the River Don and Wicker.

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However, Firestone does have permission to demolish the building, as it is not listed, nor in a conservation area.

Coroners' CourtCoroners' Court
Coroners' Court

And the company has now taken its appeal to the Planning Inspector, who will make a final decision.

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Coun Douglas Johnson, Green Party member for City ward, has fought to save the building from the start and has now written to the inspector supporting the planning board.

He said: “The Old Coroner’s Court is a historic building in a riverside setting.

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“The developer’s proposal was an ugly brick block so it is quite right that the plans were rejected.

“Heritage buildings are an important part of proper, long-term economic recovery of a run-down part of the city centre.

“Sheffield’s 20th Century history of buildings should teach us that tearing everything down to start afresh is not the way to a sustainable living environment.”

When the planning board rejected the plans, Firestone warned then that it would appeal and said it was very likely it would win.

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At the time, William Marshall, on behalf of Firestone, said: “Demolition has been approved and forms no part of this.

“The building could be demolished tomorrow with no consequences.

“All avenues have been assessed and the only solution is the proposal before you today.”

The Old Coroner’s Court dates back to 1913 and was designed by city architect FEP Edwards as a state-of the art coroner’s court, mortuary, post mortem rooms, viewing chapel and witnesses’ waiting room.

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