Sheffield Council gives its view on opening up gates under Moorfoot building

Opening up the gates under a key Sheffield city centre building is a ‘highly desirable thing to do’, Sheffield Council has said.

By Sam Cooper
Friday, 1st March 2019, 1:42 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 1:47 pm
A community space could be added outside the Moorfoot building.
A community space could be added outside the Moorfoot building.

The authority said it was aware of a campaign to open the gates under the Moorfoot building to allow greater access between The Moor and London Road.

It comes after a group which reviews the Sheffield Labour Party Planning Policy Forum renewed their calls and published research detailing multi-million pound plans, which could also see an overpass built at St Mary’s Gate and a new community square just outside the building.

A community space could be added outside the Moorfoot building.

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While welcoming the proposals, the council added that the cost of the proposal would need to be prioritised against other projects.

In a statement, the council said: “Opening up the links from London Road to The Moor is a highly desirable thing to do.

“However, it is not as simple as just throwing open the gates, given, among other things, issues like pedestrian safety, access to the car park, lighting and security.

The Moorfoot building.

“There is a cost to the proposal, which then needs prioritising against other key projects.”

The pyramid building is currently occupied by Sheffield Council but the gates remain closed despite previous calls to open them up.

Geoff Green, from the planning review group, said: “The rationale is to increase footfall and bring vibrancy and diversity to the bottom of The Moor and open up London Road to the city centre more – I think it’s a win, win.”

Mr Green said the group had commissioned work by the University of Sheffield architectural students, which showed there was ‘big support’ from the business community, residents, shoppers, councillors and both universities.

The research showed the group were first calling for the existing gates to be opened up and then two possible options of either widening the existing underpass or removing it and realigning London Road.

The first option would cost around £24 million, while the creation of a cultural gateway would cost around £117 million.

Mr Green added: “The gates serve no useful purpose at all – you can enter by going behind them.

“It would increase footfall on The Moor by opening it up to the vibrant communities on London Road and make for a more human city.”