Sheffield Castle Market 'will not be preserved'

A BID to have Sheffield's Castle Market listed has been turned down by English Heritage – which said the building was "not notable", did not use high quality materials and was not of artistic interest.

Sheffield Council had objected strongly to the application, fearing a decision to preserve the post-war building would prevent redevelopment of the area, planned for when the market is moved to a new building on The Moor.

The site is earmarked for a new open space, where sections of Sheffield's old castle hidden beneath the market will be exposed.

There will also be offices, apartments and part of the planned pedestrian Steel Route, which aims to link Victoria Quays and the Wicker with the rest of the city centre.

Victoria Ellis, Heritage Protection Co-ordinator for English Heritage, said: "Externally the building's appearance is not notable, nor is its construction technologically innovative.

"The materials used in the main are concrete with terrazzo tiling, some now rendered and painted, and metal-framed windows. There is a lack of use of high-quality materials, in contrast to the nearby Castle House – listed Grade II – the contemporary former Co-operative department store.

"Castle Market is an intelligent design for a difficult site, done by a notable architect Andrew Derbyshire, though early in his career.

It is one part of the wider post-war regeneration of Sheffield, aimed to put the city at the forefront of modern urban planning.

"However, the building does not display the quality of design or materials, the technological interest in its construction or the artistic interest which is found in the best market halls of this era and consequently does not meet the criteria for listing."

The decision was welcomed by Sheffield Council.

Leader Coun Paul Scriven said: "I'm delighted the Liberal Democrats have been successful in persuading English Heritage not to list Castle Markets. If listed the building would have been a dead weight around the neck of Sheffield's local taxpayers for generations to come.

"Now we can get on with delivering the new market at the bottom of the Moor knowing that there won't be a spanner thrown in the works.

"I only wish that local Labour politicians had taken the same approach in previous years with other similar buildings when they ran the council, such as Park Hill.

"Past experience has shown that London-based experts listing local large unpopular 1950s and '60s buildings only leads to local taxpayers having to fork out for something that they don't want."

Sheffield Council previously failed in its appeal against the decision to list Castle House Co-op department store.

An appeal can be made to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport over the English Heritage decision on Castle House.

The identity of who made the application to have Castle Market listed has not been revealed.

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