Sheffield's heritage will complement impressive new development in city centre

A stunning new city centre development is set to showcase some of Sheffield city centre’s most historic buildings.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:30 pm

A communal hall, shops, cafe, bar plus flexible space for events, studios and businesses will be created on Cambridge Street, Wellington Street and Backfields.

Dubbed Block H3, it's the latest part of the Heart of the City 2 scheme and is due to be approved by the planning committee next week.

The site lies within the city centre conservation area and includes the former Albert Works, the former George Binns outfitters, Bethel Chapel and former Sunday School, Sheffield Arts Centre, DINA, Henry’s Corner, Henry’s Two and Brew House.

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This is what the proposed rooftop bar could look like

The Bethel Sunday School is grade 2 listed and nearby is the grade 2* listed Leah’s Yard and the grade 2 listed St Matthew’s Parish Church.

In a report, planners say: "The intention is to provide collective social and events spaces with food, drink and leisure uses whilst retaining important historic fabric.

"The application is seeking permission for demolition of the existing buildings except the listed former Bethel Sunday School and the front facades of the Cambridge Street and Wellington Street buildings along with the Brewhouse and the former Bethel Chapel building.

"A new build communal hall with a capacity of 2,370 people is to be developed at the centre of the site and extends into part of Henry’s 2, Brewhouse and the building currently occupied by DINA.

Cambridge Street.

"A large part of the communal hall will be double height to provide a generous space for events with a balcony wrapping around the edge at the upper level.

"The scheme is designed to provide 20 units which will be able to be used for retail, cafe/restaurant, bar, takeaway, community and leisure uses.

"Henry's Corner, Bethel Chapel and the former Sunday School will be let as individual units over three floors.

"Bethel Chapel has been designed with a capacity of 1,280 people and a new level at Linley Square will provide spill out space.

Existing aerial view of site

"There is potential for a rooftop bar and there will also be a roof terrace accessed from Bethel Chapel above the former Binn's store."

Backfields, Wellington Street and Bethel Walk will be pedestrianised and there will be a new street called Albert Walk, after Albert Works, the old mesters that used to occupy that part of the site.

A new public space called Linley's Square will be created, named after the family of sheep-shear manufacturers that formerly occupied Albert Works for much of the 19th century.

There were 76 responses to the plans, many of which were supportive.

Wellington Street looking at proposed entrance on new Blackfields

Historic England, Hallamshire Historic Buildings Hallamshire, Joined Up Heritage Sheffield, Sheffield Conservation Advisory Group were broadly supportive but concerned about the loss of the back of DINA and Albert Works, as well as the closure of Bethel Walk,

Sheffield Climate Alliance has objected, saying there's not sufficient emphasis to climate change, the transport statement is out of date and it's unhappy with an ecological appraisal and energy statement.

Planners say the design is sensitive to the conservation area and listed building as it keeps most of the frontages to Cambridge Street and Wellington Street.

They say: "It will deliver a vibrant mix of uses which will transform this prominent run down and underused block.

"It delivers well designed new buildings which do not dominate the listed buildings or conservation area.

"The wider benefits are vital to vitality and viability of the city centre and outweigh the limited negative heritage impacts."

Councillors will decide at a meeting on Tuesday, September 15, the application can be viewed here

How Heart of the City 2 is shaping up:

Block A - plans submitted

Radisson Blu is due to move into Block A, the area around Pinstone Street, including Palatine Chambers and the old Gaumont cinema. The 150-room hotel will have a prominent view over the Peace Gardens and the council says it will be the first hotel in Sheffield to pay the Real Living Wage.

Blocks B and C - work underway

Laycock House (Block B) and Pepperpot (Block C) were granted planning permission last year and activity on site is now well underway. Combined, the two blocks will deliver over 20,000 sq ft of retail space, over 40,000 sq ft of workspace and 52 apartments.

Block D - completed

Grosvenor House – the brand new 165,000 sq ft office development is the new home to HSBC in Sheffield. CMS, a top 10 global law firm, has also taken 47,500 sq ft of space in the building. Swedish fashion brands, Weekday and Monki, have opened new stores on the corner of Pinstone Street and Furnival Gate and independent cafe Marmadukes also opened earlier this year.

Block F - recently given planning permission

Plans for Kangaroo Works (Block F), located on the corner Rockingham Street and Wellington Street, have recently been approved. Construction work on the £50 million residential building will begin later this year and provide over 350 quality new apartments.

Sheffield's heritage

Bethel Chapel dates back to around 1835 and the grade 2 listed Bethel Sunday School, dates from 1852.

The old elevation of Albert Works dates from between 1856 and 1862. Only two storeys of the original four storey Mesters Works remain, within which is the Cutlers Coat of Arms keystone.

The Cutlers Coat of Arms keystone will be used within the landscape around Albert Walk.

The corner buildings at the Cambridge Street and Wellington Street junction - Henry's Corner, Henry's 2 and the Brewhouse - were built from 1901-04, replacing the 1828 Barleycorn Inn.

The buildings tell an important story of 185 years of streetscape and development from Coal Pit Lane to what later became Cambridge Street.

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