Early Victorian building could be destroyed for new flats in Sheffield

A historic, early Victorian building in Sheffield could be demolished to make way for dozens of new flats.

The applicant, Jaguar Property Ltd, is planning to create two distinctive and site-sensitive residential apartment blocks at the site of Knowle House – an early Victorian building now used for offices – on Norfolk Park Road.

The proposal, submitted to the city council, would see the current buildings demolished to make way for the new blocks. In total, there would be 83 flats – 67 units in a six-storey block and 16 units in a four-storey block – with associated parking and landscaping. The scheme is now awaiting a decision.

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The application mentioned some potential opportunities for the site, including improved access for all vehicles, improved pedestrian connections between the two main sites and maximised views of surrounding natural features.

However, for this Knowle House’s removal “is proposed” and that would have “little impact”.

A document said: “Whilst the character of Knowle House is recognised the current location and form reduces the development possibilities of the site in terms of access and servicing.

“As the building is unlisted and outside a conservation area its removal is proposed. The current location of the building at the centre of the site surrounded by dense tree cover at its boundaries means that its removal will have little impact when viewed from the surrounding streets.

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“The lodge house has already been granted removal meaning there is precedent in the immediate locality.

“The historic building fabric and layout of Knowle House makes it unsuitable for conversion to energy efficient living accommodation. In its place, the highly insulated and low carbon homes will create comfortable and affordable residences for the new inhabitants.”

In a comment, South Yorkshire Police’s designing out crime officer Dene Tinker warned the applicants of possible anti-social behaviour around the development and urged them to introduce measures to prevent unlawful free movement throughout the building(s).

The development would come with appropriate landscape and parking arrangements, as well.

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To date, there is one objection submitted to the planning application on the portal.

The objector said: “Being a ground floor flat across the road from this application we get very little natural sunlight, building a 4/6 storey property will obscure what little sunlight we do get.

“I would like planning to be refused or altered to a property not as high.”

In conclusion, the applicant said: “Most importantly, the scheme delivers a biodiversity net gain, protecting and enhancing local wildlife.

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“The retained and new planting and natural features will create a haven within the city centre for the residents of the buildings, giving them not only a place to live, but spaces to relax, play, socialise and enjoy the natural world around them.

“The proposal provides 83 new residential units across the two blocks with generous internal and external amenity space. The dwellings are generous, thoughtfully laid out and have landscape-focused views that will contribute positively to the internal environments.”

City planners have set February 26 as a target date for a decision on the plan, numbered 23/03667/FUL.