Sheffield MP adds concerns to flats plan protest

Shops facing Devonshire Green
Shops facing Devonshire Green
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Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield has added his concerns to mounting objections over plans to demolish a corner of independent shops.

The proposals to knock down retail units on Devonshire Street so that 14 apartments, restaurants and cafes can be built have already attracted hundreds of objections.

Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders is among the Sheffield celebrities who have voiced support for the shops.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said he would be taking the matter up with Sheffield Council - and urged developer Primesite Ltd to listen to the public.

He added: “Devonshire Street is home to some of Sheffield’s most-loved shops.

“The character of the buildings has attracted a great range of independent retailers and I’m concerned they could be lost with the proposed development.

“The city centre must offer something different to Meadowhall and independent shops are central to that.

“Everyone agrees the city centre needs a mix of retail, places to eat and drink, and accommodation, but this shouldn’t be achieved by forcing out well-used existing businesses.

“I would urge the developer to listen to the extensive opposition this proposal has already generated, and which I’ll be discussing with the council.”

Book store Rare and Racy is one of the shops that could be affected by the plans.

Architects for the developers say the scheme will ‘rejuvenate’ the block and reduce anti-social behaviour, and the new building will look almost identical.

But some readers disagreed.

One wrote on The Star’s website: “I really hope the council throws this plan out of the window.

“This is one of the few areas of Sheffield with a real vibrancy.”

Another concerned reader added: “Rare and Racy is an institution.”