Old Coroner’s Court set to be replaced with apartment block

Plans for a new apartment block to replace the Old Coroner’s Court in Sheffield will be discussed next week.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 8:52 am
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 12:38 pm
Old Coroner's Court.

Councillors will consider a five to seven storey building with 77 apartments and ground floor commercial units at Nursery Street.

The Old Coroners Court, an attractive two-storey red brick and stone building, will be demolished to make way for the new development despite a long fight by campaigners to save it.

Firestone Developments can knock the building down and because it’s not listed or in a conversation area the council has very limited grounds to object.

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The new development has prompted objections from Hallamshire Historic Buildings, who say the Old Coroner’s Court dates back to 1913 and was designed by city architect FEP Edwards as a state-of the art coroners court, mortuary, post mortem rooms, viewing chapel and witnesses’ waiting room.

It says the building is still attractive, has historic value and is part of a collection of unlisted significant buildings that contribute to the character of the area. Campaigners have dubbed the new apartments “mundane”.

Five other people have objected – comments include “this beautiful part of our heritage should not be destroyed” and “the existing building is a beautiful example of architecture and a piece of Sheffield’s history, to replace it with an ugly block of flats is an outrage”

One person says “I would like to see Sheffield thrive over neighbours such as Leeds and Manchester, in order to do this and make the city great for tourists and investors, a mix of old and new buildings is needed”

Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the scheme, saying it will make a “positive contribution” towards the supply of housing on a brownfield site.

There will be no parking spaces but officers say it’s a well pedestrianised area with cycle lanes, good public transport and close to the city centre. There will be an internal cycle store for 44 bikes.

In a report they say: “The proposed redevelopment of the site will help regenerate the Wicker Riverside Area and fulfil the vision of a mixed use neighbourhood.

“The site is in a highly sustainable location and redevelopment of brownfield land to meet housing land requirements is viewed positively.

“The demolition of the Old Coroners Court building is regrettable but has already been established through a separate process. The scale, siting and quality of the proposal are considered to be acceptable and will sit comfortably in the context of new and proposed development.”

The planning meeting is on Tuesday, September 17.