Think again about knocking down Sheffield’s heritage

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We all know that there is a serious car-parking problem at the Northern General Hospital and I’m sure most of us have experienced the frustrating search for a space followed by the worry that you’ll not get back to your car before a ticket is slammed on it.

The solution put forward by the NHS? A crazy decision to demolish eight historic buildings which will provide a few extra spaces but nowhere near enough. A multi-storey car-park is the only answer to this ever increasing problem and plans have already been drawn up but have been shelved for ‘financial reasons’.

If the NHS addressed the well-known problems of dreadful waste of resources and materials which may be observed any day on the wards and also the top-heavy layers of pen-pushers and bureaucrats in middle management who are drawing fat salaries to no avail, then perhaps the necessary funds could be found for the multi-storey.

The cost of demolishing these eight buildings together with the preparation and resurfacing of the sites will be phenomenal with an end product which is merely tinkering with the problem.

The buildings to be lost include the rare 1894 Water Tower, the Victorian stable block to the rear of the early 19th century Grade II listed Goddard Hall and the historic Norwood Grange. Also included is a pleasant and perfectly sound 1950s detached house. So much for our alleged housing shortage. Most of these buildings are still in good condition and could be reused for commercial or residential use.

This is a serious slice of Sheffield’s architectural heritage which is about to disappear but as the buildings are not listed they have no protection. I would implore the NHS to think again before committing this unforgivable act of corporate vandalism.

Howard Greaves

Vice chairman, Hallamshire Historic Buildings Society