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Apartments will breathe life into old workshops

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Apartments are planned on the site of old workshops in Sheffield city centre.

Developers want to demolish workshops on Mary Street and build 10 apartments in a three to four storey block with a ground floor restaurant and cafe.

The site is within the Cultural Industry Quarter Conservation Area but the empty metal trades buildings are not listed.

Sheffield Conservation Advisory Group has welcomed the plans but says there should be more consideration about the design of the building. The group is concerned about the future of the adjacent building, particularly its crucible chimney and says it should be preserved.

The site was developed as a brass works by 1879 but, with the exception of the chimney, these were demolished. The existing buildings were constructed by a knife manufacturer in 1910.

Additional buildings were added by the 1950s and the main buildings are early 20th century industrial workshops.

Officers say the buildings have been extensively modified over the years.

In a report, they say: “There is little surviving evidence of the buildings’ original function. The buildings facing Mary Street are considered to have no special architectural or historic merit.

“The remainder of the buildings on the site do exhibit some features of metal trades buildings such as multi-paned windows. The chimney is of some interest - it is a plain square design which sits in the middle of the site.

“Whilst the loss of these small scale metal trades buildings and chimney will have a negative impact on the character of the conservation area they are not particularly good examples and they have lost much of their character and are in a poor state of repair.

“It is not easy to see how the site could be successfully reused or redeveloped whilst retaining the chimney and two storey building which have most character but sit in the middle of site.”

There are listed buildings and the Sylvester Works nearby but planners say the apartments will “not have a significant impact” on these buildings.

The report adds: “The design of the new scheme is sympathetic to the character of the conservation area and will preserve its character.

“It will regenerate this vacant site and deliver much needed accommodation in a sustainable location. The cafe will add to the vitality of the area.”

Councillors will discuss the scheme at a meeting next Tuesday.