Pubs development plans cause outcry

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PLANS to create student housing at two former pub sites on the edge of Sheffield city centre have led to a flurry of objections.

Sheffield Council’s planning board will consider the applications when it meets on Monday afternoon.

The first application involves creating 12 flats for up to 59 students, plus two ground-floor shops, on the site of the now-demolished Devonshire Arms pub, on Ecclesall Road, opposite the former Wards Brewery.

Some 27 objections have been made to council officials, voicing concerns which took up three pages of the council’s report when summarised.

Protesters, including Hanover estate tenants’ and residents’ association and Central Ward councillor, Jillian Creasy, say the proposed six-storey block is too high and an ‘over-development’ of the site.

They also questioned the need for more student accommodation, saying there is already an ‘excessive’ amount which is not fully occupied. There were also concerns about inadequate parking, lack of demand for retail units at the Ward’s redevelopment, and lack of consultation.

In a letter to the council, Hanover TARA said: “A six-storey building is too high, at close proximity to neighbouring buildings and would have a dominating impact on neighbours. The scheme represents an overdevelopment of the site.”

The association added: “There are existing, excessive levels of student accommodation. The need is queried especially as student numbers are likely to fall in the future due to the imposition of fees.”

Architects, Sheffield-based SLA Design have submitted revised drawings of the proposed development and council officers have recommended the application should be granted.

The changes include cutting the height of the building by one storey and reducing its ‘mass and bulk’.

A report to the board said: “The proposal is considered to achieve an appropriate balance in limiting impact on amenities.”

Meanwhile, plans to turn the former Broomspring Tavern, on Broomspring Lane, Broomhall, into a house of multiple occupation for students, is also recommended for approval despite six objections.

The building is still standing but is boarded up and has been derelict for some time.

Objectors, who include Coun Creasy, are unhappy about potential noise and disturbance, plus lack of parking – and say it ‘would be better if the building was converted to family housing’.

n Devonshire Arms heyday: See Retro