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Norwood Grange Farm buildings

The Norwood Grange buildings in the grounds of the Northern General Hospital
The Norwood Grange buildings in the grounds of the Northern General Hospital
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Many thanks to Sheffield Newspapers for bringing the disgraceful saga of the Norwood Grange Farm buildings at the Northern General Hospital to the public’s attention.

Sadly the Hospital Trust would appear to have the attitude of ‘let’s let it rot’ rather than give a developer the chance of creating some much needed housing. I fail to understand and am horrified at the blasé mentality of their remark of ‘it’s ONLY worth £1m’, which sums up the thinking of whoever is administrating the NHS budget. We regularly read stories in the national press of procurement of basic essentials such as painkillers, dressings and scissors etc being twice the market price in spite of the massive bulk buying involved. Added to the constant advertising for management posts and the chronic shortage of nurses, I despair at where our beloved NHS is going. A classic case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

I apologise to our Society’s members for expressing these latter personal views and for digressing from the original point which was the problem of car-parking. This is not going to go away and must be dealt with as soon as possible. The problem gets worse by the week and very soon you will die of old age or bleed to death while trying to find a parking space.

It has been swept under the carpet for far too long and must now be resolved. The demolition of some historic buildings on the site to create a paltry few parking spaces has been pointless and lost some important history in the process. Such sticking plaster (pardon the pun) won’t heal the wound and, apart from anything else, a multi-storey car-park would reduce the stress levels of staff, patients, visitors and local residents. It beggars belief that the largest hospital site in Europe does not have a multi-storey facility and relies on street parking as a back-up.

I would urge the Trust to bite the bullet and get the ball rolling as building costs will only rise as time goes by and I trust that they had three quotes before arriving at their £15m costing figures.

I disagree with their assertions that the listing of these buildings has devalued them and if you take the time to read Historic England’s long report (which surprised even myself) on these and Chesterman House and Wycliffe House you would realise just how nationally historically important they are. The full story can be found in the 2016 edition of our Cruck magazine which is still available at Sheffield Scene on Surrey Street or direct from us.

As to Phil Brennan’s suggestion that the HHB invest in the buildings – we’re only a tiny charity with nothing in the bank so, sorry – can’t help.

Howard Greaves

Chairman Hallamshire Historic Buildings