'Contemporary' gem or ugly 'monstrosity' - what do you make of controversial plans for picturesque Sheffield valley?

How the proposed building would look (photo: AXIS Architecture)
How the proposed building would look (photo: AXIS Architecture)
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Plans for an 'ultra-modern' guest house in the grounds of a converted Victorian school building are causing a stir in a picturesque corner of Sheffield.

The designers behind the box-shaped black and glass-fronted construction insist it represents a big improvement on the 'intrusive' brick bomb shelter it would replace.

Where the proposed new guest house would stand in relation to the old school building (photo: AXIS Architecture)

Where the proposed new guest house would stand in relation to the old school building (photo: AXIS Architecture)

They say it would improve views across the pretty Mayfield Valley which it overlooks while using the latest eco-friendly technology to minimise its impact on the environment.

But the proposals have raised the hackles of some locals, with one branding it a 'monstrosity' and another saying it would stick out like a 'sore thumb' among the attractive old buildings dotted around that patch of green belt land on Sheffield's outskirts.

The former Mayfield School, at the corner of David Lane and Mayfield Road, is already being transformed into three homes after plans were approved to convert the existing stone building.

The owner has now applied to demolish some existing buildings, including an old bomb shelter and toilets, and replace them with a guest house, office space and garaging, designed in what is described as a 'contemporary interpretation of agricultural outbuildings'.

The structures which would be demolished (photo: Google)

The structures which would be demolished (photo: Google)

The planning application describes the proposed new building, which is smaller than those it would replace, as 'a low key contemporary structure that reduces the overall impact on the surrounding countryside'.

But it has already prompted 13 objections to Sheffield Council's planning department, with just one person writing in support.

Nick Bennett, who lives a short stroll away on Brooklands Avenue, wrote: "Completely incongruous, architecturally offering nothing to the surrounding area other than sticking out like a sore thumb."

David Anson, of nearby School Green Lane, commented: "There is some justification for replacing the existing tired buildings between the Chapel and the Education Centre but anything that is proposed should be in keeping with the area - this suggested monstrosity is totally wide of the mark."

Approval was previously granted to convert the old school building into homes (photo: Google)

Approval was previously granted to convert the old school building into homes (photo: Google)

And David Laver, who lives at The Hole in the Wall, on David Lane, said he felt 'utterly betrayed' by the latest proposals for an 'ultra-modern' construction, having previously supported the conversion of the old school building.

"To allow this development to take place just undermines the point of the valley being preserved forever in its natural beauty without another blight on this precious corner of our city for those that come and stroll in the rolling hills and see all sorts of wildlife," he added.

The application by Philip Prince was submitted at the beginning of December and the council has yet to decide the outcome.

This is not the first controversy in the valley, which is home to a handful of listed buildings, over plans for more contemporary constructions.

Plans to demolish an old stone cottage, on Mayfield Road, and replace it with a modern, eco-friendly home prompted 84 objections and 35 messages of support. A decision is still awaited on that application, which was submitted last July.