Sheffield city centre residents say new 10-storey tower block would ruin their homes

Hidden away in the middle of Sheffield city centre is a pocket garden and small sun trap amid the busy streets.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Saturday, 19th June 2021, 7:00 am

But residents living in apartments in the historic St Paul’s Chambers on Pinstone Street fear their oasis will be destroyed if a 10-story tower is built right next to their communal garden.

Developers Grantside plan to demolish buildings at the junction of Charles Street and Norfolk Street and erect an office complex called the C-N Tower.

The site is currently occupied by two concrete blocks of offices and shops dating from the 1960s and 70s.

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Residents Richard and Ann Walton and Stuart Bywater say apartments will be overshadowed by a planned 10-storey tower block

Residents Richard and Ann Walton, along with Stuart Bywater who is the landlord of St Paul’s Chambers, say they have no objection to the old buildings being demolished and the site being redeveloped but a 10-storey block would ruin their homes.

Richard, who has owned his apartment for 20 years, said: “This is in the conservation area and there are listed buildings surrounding it with other buildings of significant character.

“We all agree the existing buildings are tired and need developing but we don’t feel this is the right development. It’s out of all proportion and is two or three times the height.

“We are committed to the redevelopment of the city centre but a building of this magnitude is going to cut out the light and destroy our privacy. It’s enormous and is disingenuous to say it’s going to form a link with other buildings.

“It will be next to our back yard and right up against our boundary. We will lose the light we have had for the past 20 years.”

Stuart said around 40 apartments in St Paul’s Chambers, Berona House and Waterhouse would be affected.

“The developers say themselves that there will be a loss of light. Some of these are families and a lot are people working from home. These are the human stories of how this will affect people’s lives.

“Our communal area will be shattered by this development. We want the city centre to thrive but it is totally out of character.”

Local councillors are supporting residents and say light loss could be an increasing problem in the city centre.

Coun Martin Phipps said: “It’s something we may have to be increasingly conscious to. It doesn’t just mean using artificial lights more, it can have a big impact on people’s health and wellbeing, especially with more people working at home now.

“People have a right to sunlight in their homes, that should be as true in the centre as it is in the suburbs.

“We’re also concerned about potential wind tunnels, loss of privacy with the offices facing apartments with little distance in between and a discrepancy in the height with other buildings in the block.

“If we want more people to live in the city centre, which is one of the aims of the council’s housing strategy to deliver housing and address the climate emergency, then we need to listen to residents when they raise concerns.”