Sheffield Council leader promises protection of conservation areas

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore has pledged to protect conservation areas after fears spread that a sweeping overhaul was imminent.

Coun Dore said: “There is no review into conservation areas, unfortunately there appears to be a bit of a misunderstanding after a meeting between councillors and stakeholder groups last week.

“We are committed to heritage and ensuring the city develops in a way which fits with its character and is managed extremely sensitively. We want to work with the groups about how we can form a joint vision for heritage. “

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Concerns were raised when Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment, said the authority was considering a review of all 38 conservation areas in Sheffield.

This sparked fears that heritage would be overlooked in favour of development. Calls followed for the council to commit to protecting historic sites.

It came after a consultation on a proposed conservation area in Castlegate was abandoned.

The council has appointed a new ‘heritage champion’ to replace Coun Ian Saunders who lost his seat in the local elections last month after 35 years.

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Initially Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs was appointed to succeed Coun Saunders at the council’s annual general meeting. However, Coun Mike Drabble, who represents the Richmond ward, was chosen instead and officially appointed at a full council meeting.

Coun Dore said: “Councillor Mike Drabble has now been appointed as the councils new heritage champion. He is completely dedicated to heritage – Mike will do a great job in what is an important role for us.”