Gold cladding takes shine off Kelham Island plans

All that glitters is not gold…

By Lucy Ashton
Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 11:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 11:43 am
The proposed gold cladding on the Bakers Yard development
The proposed gold cladding on the Bakers Yard development

Plans for a new building with gold cladding in Sheffield’s burgeoning Kelham Island have prompted a number of complaints from existing residents.

Developers want to build a five-storey block with a ground floor shop and two apartments above at Bakers Yard within Little Kelham in the centre of the Kelham Island Conservation Area.

An original development of 107 flats, the conversion of Eagle Works to form a shop, restaurant and creative arts space, the conversion of the gateway building to provide a shop and restaurant and the erection of a five storey building for use as an energy centre with office spaces above was granted in 2012 and is still under construction.

As the site has developed, the original proposals for an energy centre are no longer being pursued and developers instead want to erect the block with shop and apartments.

There have been 29 objections including comments that it’s an “eyesore” and the gold cladding would be “at odds” with the conservation area and cause glare.

There are concerns that it is a significant over development. Neighbours say the new building will overlook them, cast a shadow onto a communal green space and dwarf the other buildings in Bakers Yard, Little Kelham Street and Cotton Mill Walk as well as Cornwall Works on the opposite corner of Green Lane.

The Conservation Advisory Group felt that the use of gold cladding was inappropriate and recommended a more subdued metal.

Planning officers said they did have a number of concerns about the design and materials as they didn’t fit in with the character of an industrial conservation area.

In a report they say: “The timber and gold cladding have been replaced with red brick to the ground floor with bronze coloured metal cladding to the upper floors.

“This more subdued, robust and contextual approach is acceptable and more in keeping with the character and appearance of the conservation area, yet contemporary and in the spirit of the architecture within the Little Kelham site.

“The tall slim form of the building will mark a focal point. Its amended finish in red brick with bronze cladding is in keeping with the area’s industrial heritage and will not cause harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area.”

The plans have been amended so existing residents will not be overlooked by windows and planting will help people’s privacy. Officers say there will be an impact on the amenities of Garden Houses residents facing onto Bakers Yard but it will not cause significant harm or unacceptable living conditions.

The report adds: “Little Kelham comprises of high density urban housing where suburban levels of separation cannot be expected, yet privacy distances are considered to be comfortable and outlook is generally good.

“The occupants of Garden Houses will experience some additional loss of direct sunlight during the morning but this loss will be limited and changeable.”

The planning committee will consider the plans at a meeting on Tuesday, April 2.