Councillors have overruled planning officers and given the go-ahead for plans to build a seven-storey block of flats to house students in the City Centre Conservation Area.
The application by DLP Planning Ltd will see accommodation for more than 60 students over six floors, with ground floor commercial space and cycle storage on the junction of Trippet Lane and Bailey Lane in the city centre.
Planning staff said in a report that the proposed development was not in-keeping with local architecture.
“The planning authority considers that the proposed design of the development by reason of its height, massing and elevational treatment is out of keeping with the character of the City Centre Conservation Area and would appear as an incongruous and dominant feature which does not reflect the height and topography of the immediate area.
“It would therefore be injurious to the visual amenities of the conservation area and street scene.”
However, councillors on the planning and highways committee at Sheffield City Council overruled the recommendation, saying that the character of the area had fundamentally changed in recent years.
Speaking at the committee, Councillor Peter Price said: “For me it’s a simple decision. It does fit in with the conservation area. We don’t think that the case has been made and we have a different view to the officer.”
The application would require the demolition of a building first erected in the 1950s and is close to the iconic Grapes public house.
Councillor Roger Davidson said: “We want to conserve the character of particular areas of the city centre and I don’t see that the building to be pulled down is of any significant value. It’s not like the new development would be obscuring St Paul’s.”
Arguing against the planning officer’s recommendation, Jim Lomas from DLP said: “It’s currently a derelict and run-down site with no particular value and we fully believe that this is a clear opportunity to enhance this site. It will make it significantly better.
“This is entirely in-keeping with what is in the conservation area - the area is changing rapidly and The Grapes will remain a significant building.”
The application was approved with conditions to be negotiated with the developer and authorised through delegated powers. A timescale for the development has not yet been established.