‘Let The Plough, plough on’: Community await decision on historic football pub after 170 object

More than 170 people who objected to plans to demolish the historic pub where the rules of modern football were drawn up are awaiting a decision on its future.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 12:37 pm
The Plough in times gone by. Image: Picture Sheffield

The Plough Inn, on Sandygate Lane, which sits opposite Hallam FC – the oldest football club in the world – has been earmarked for demolition by developers who want to turn it into houses.

But, as they did when proposals to turn the place into a Sainsbury’s emerged, the community have fought to keep it in the public’s hands as an asset for the city.

Commenting on the application, one resident said: “There is so much football heritage in The Plough and the Hallam FC ground opposite – it would be sacrilegious to demolish this pub.”

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Peter Duff outside The Plough

Another objector said: “This building is of great historical significance to Sheffield. My great-great-great grandfather was Tom Armitage, the international cricketer and the very first capped player for England and landlord of The Plough.

“It would be a travesty if this building was demolished for housing.”

Others said that, with better management, it could be a thriving pub again.

“I can’t understand why demolition of The Plough is even being considered,” an opponent said. “This pub has been mismanaged in the past by uncaring owners. I am totally convinced there is potential for a thriving community pub here, especially given its links to footballing history. As a local resident I say ‘Save The Plough.'”

Another said: “Reasonable efforts have not been made to find a tenant willing to run the property as a pub business. The property has been marketed but at a rent vastly in excess of its market value resulting, inevitably, in no interest. This is obstructive marketing, not genuine marketing.

“There is no reason why if marketed at its market value this property would not be of interest to publicans or local breweries.”

One resident said they would be ready to buy it.

He said: “My objection to this application can be summarised in just four words: Asset of Community Value. Knowing full well the extra protection this landmark building enjoys, it seems the applicant’s intention is to up the ante and further anger the local community who are ready, willing and – more importantl – able to purchase the property and re-open it as a public house.”

The campaign to save The Plough is led by Peter Duff and has been backed by councillors.

Peter said: “It’s terrible that someone can come along and take something that has so much meaning and heritage for the community.

”It’s an important building. The original site was built 400 years ago and rebuilt by Wynyard Dixon, a steelmaking family. There are very few examples of Dixon’s architecture left in Sheffield.

“It’s also a massive part of sporting history. Hallam FC was founded in the pub. It would be a real loss.”