Decision on plans for offices at former Rare & Racy shop in Sheffield is deferred today

A decision on plans for an office block to replace three historic buildings in Sheffield city centre was deferred at the eleventh hour today.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:15 pm

Georgian buildings on Devonshire Street used to house independent shops including Rare & Racy, which opened in 1969 and sold second-hand books, music and art for almost 50 years.

Planning permission was granted in 2015 to demolish the shops and replace them with a three-storey building with ground floor offices and apartments above. Now developers have new plans to build a modern office block there instead.

The original plans were opposed by 20,000 people and there were demonstrations outside the Town Hall. Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker called Rare & Racy a ‘global treasure’.

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ow the new Devonshire Street office would look (Image Cartwright Pickard)

There have been many objections to the new office plans too, and they were described as ‘soulless’.

Planners advised councillors to approve the office block at a meeting this afternoon.

But planning committee chairman Coun Jayne Dunn deferred the decision to give ‘to give councillors the opportunity to visit the site and consider the impacts of the application.’

She said: “The history of this site and strength of feeling about this building is well known, it is important to many people from across the city. There is clearly a heritage implication of the proposals that were being brought forward as well as the impact on an area where there are significant numbers of local residents.

“I think that a decision could only be made after councillors have visited the site.

"Therefore, we have asked for a site visit to allow the committee members to see first-hand the impact of this development, before the application is brought to the Committee and any decision is made.”