Underground home planned for 19th century building

A home once owned by a well-known Sheffield cutler could be converted into a new development including an underground house.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 11:59 am
Artist's impression of Tapton Cliffe (credit Chris Carr Architects)

Tapton Cliffe House, on the corner of Fulwood Road and Shore Lane, was constructed around 1864 by John Yeomans Cowlishaw, who lived there.

Developers now hope to restore and convert the existing house to provide nine cottages and apartments.

The plans also include retaining and extending the gatehouse Tapton Cliffe Lodge as a single home and building communal spa, swimming pool, sauna and gym, with an apartment above.

There would also be an underground garage for 11 cars with two apartments over and a single underground house built into the embankment.

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It would be a ‘fully sustainable, earth sheltered underground house’, constructed below the level of the existing lawn in front of Tapton Cliffe and invisible to view other than from the driveway.

Existing landscaping would allow the house to fit between trees and be enveloped with shrubs.

It would be constructed in reinforced concrete below ground level with external elevations to the living rooms with windows. It would be heated by ground source energy supplied from a borehole beneath the house and via a heat pump to an underfloor heating system.

Chris Carr Architects, on behalf of developers, said the scheme would keep the original buildings plus restore and enhance the gardens.

The site has been used by several different organisations over the years.

In a planning application, Chris Carr Architects said: “The house was occupied as a private residence until 1920 when The University of Sheffield purchased the building as a hall of residence for female students.

“This use continued until 1934 when Tapton Cliffe was converted to a hotel.

“In 1948 the property was sold to the Secretary of State for Social Services and became the Royal Infirmary Sisters’ Home until 1963.

“The property remained in the ownership of United Sheffield Hospitals and NHS until 1985 when Tapton Cliffe became a private nursing home, becoming Tapton Cliffe Clinic in 1990.

“Since 1995 the building has been occupied by Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Blind Veterans UK.

“Whilst the main house and lodge have been in institutional use for many years, the details of an important private house remain.

“The principle rooms and much of the internal joinery, fireplaces and ornate plasterwork are largely intact. Externally, the stonework is in very good condition, although roofs and chimneys require repair and replacement due to the effects of age and vandalism.”

The site is within the Endcliffe Conservation Area and on the boundary of the Broomhill Conservation Area. Existing trees within the site are protected and ecological surveys will also take place.

The planning application can be viewed here