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Heart of the City 2 consultation

Please take two minutes to email your thoughts (even just a very brief response is better than nothing) or fill in the online questionnaire, telling Sheffield Council what you think of proposals for inner city regeneration that will harm (the question is, how much?) Sheffield’s heritage.

The consultation ends Friday 28th September.  This time round it’s the council that is the developer –  there is no third party to blame.    Please e-mail your comments to  info@heartofcity2.com or give them online at https://www.heartofcity2.com/public-consultation

The proposals

Block B

The proposal is to retain Laycock House, a fine Victorian building, but to demolish the rest of the block and replace with modern buildings.

The old Athol Hotel, in ‘mock tudor’ cladding, and neighbouring good quality Victorian building, would be demolished and replaced by new build under the current proposals.  The mock tudor cladding might give the impression that there’s nothing much to lose, but we only need to look to the building alongside and old postcards to see the fine stone and brickwork that are beneath the cladding.   The building between Laycock and the old Athol Hotel, together with a restored Athol Hotel, would hold this corner very well indeed and give the Laycock building the setting it deserves. 

Below is the proposed replacement.  We are told that “The ethos of the design is to create a striking, angular new building to complement and contrast with the late Victorian Laycock House”…  

It’s certainly a contrast, but clearly the new building does nothing to complement the fine Laycock House.  A mock up that included some colour, would no doubt show even more of a ‘contrast’ too.

The larger new build behind the ‘angular building’  will house seven floors worth of apartments, with retail units on the ground floor.  Given the nondescript nature of the present block in that position, it’s not any worse than at present, though the design does nothing to complement the historic buildings which are the strong point of the vicinity.

‘Block C’

Block C is the triangle containing the Pepperpot building – a recognisable and characterful Victorian building. With a good clean, the pepperpot, and the old Midland Bank at the other end of the block, will have more admirers than anonymous, anytown block can muster.  The plan is not to spruce up the entire triangle, but to keep only the part fronting Pinstone Street. The rear section of the Pepperpot, and the Victorian block behind that, are to be replaced by a large office block, according to the present proposals.

 

 

The proposed new section follows in the footsteps of the HSBC block now in place alongside it. You don’t need to be an architect to see that, at eight storeys tall, it overwhelms what remains of the Victorian triangular block.  The guiding principle is evident: squeeze in as tall a building as possible in as big a footprint as possible, to maximise revenue.

Times have changed since the John Lewis/Hammerson ‘Sevenstone’ scheme and even the ‘New Retail Quarter’ that came later.  The rise of Internet shopping and out of town shopping centres have crippled retail in many town centres. John Lewis are staying put and private investment in the Moor (now owned by Scottish Widows) has ended up creating other attractive destinations for retailers coming to the city centre.  Retail makes up a small proportion of the present scheme, and New Retail Quarter has been rebranded as ‘Heart of the City 2’.

Heart of the City first time round gave Sheffield the Peace Gardens, Millennium Gallery, Winter Gardens, the redevelopment around the Railway Station and Tudor Square – great examples of good design enhancing the city centre amidst other developments that helped pay for them.  The quality of design in the present scheme doesn’t fit in with those values and the oversized blocks don’t justify the loss of heritage assets being proposed.

There is an opportunity to enhance this area by restoring more of the heritage assets – restoring the Athol Hotel and not robbing the Laycock Building of the setting it needs. Restoring the historic frontage to Charles Street would add more to the area than a new block, which doesn’t have to be so tall as to completely overwhelm its surroundings and can partly concealed behind the frontage. Retaining the historic frontage to Charles Street would also give some continuity up to the buildings on upper Cambridge Street –  the old Henry’s, the Bethel Sunday School and Leah’s Yard.

Please e-mail your own comments (something short in your own words is good) to info@heartofcity2.com or give them online at https://www.heartofcity2.com/public-consultation by Friday 28th September.

HoC2 (formerly New Retail Quarter/Sevenstone) consultation

19 thoughts on “HoC2 (formerly New Retail Quarter/Sevenstone) consultation

  • September 27, 2018 at 6:29 am
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    It never ceases to amaze me that SCC are never able to see the wood for the trees, they constantly bang on about ‘Improving areas for the people of Sheffield’ but can’t see the thriving nature of The Devenshire Quarter, if they just supported the traders and public spaces around this area it would be a fantastic space for young & old, eclectic shops, cafes, open spaces for families, what more does a city want ? All too often this council trys to improve by destroying its own heritage, spending millions in attempt to achieve a goal that is already halfway there. I oppose this idea, and think most normal (meaning non speculative) people would too

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:12 am
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    I would like to ask the council to think very carefully about any proposals to demolish any historic building, both in part or wholly to build something in place of said buildings with something less aesthetically pleasing. Even when trying to compensate with building something similar in shape to what was there before. Leave the buildings well alone and let Sheffield keep it’s historic buildings, thus keeping the character of what Sheffield was built on. If this means that developers can only clean, do repairs and renovate inside the said buildings, again careful not to lose any valuable decoration inside. They were lucky to survive the war, so please let them stay as they are, for the people of Sheffield to enjoy alongside with it’s history. Change is not always a good thing and I wholly object to the proposed ideas which in light are only done as a ‘sweetener’ in hopes of the plans going through without much apparent change? Regenerate by all means but not at the cost of losing Sheffield’ history. Listen to the people what they would like, rather than the rattle of a bank balance.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:38 am
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    Need to maintain existing frontages and historic street fronts/scenes rather than demolition and adding new unsympathetic structures in my opinion.

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    • September 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm
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      Absolutely couldn’t agree more, we need to retain what’s keft of our historic buildings otherwise it’s just another concrete city

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  • September 27, 2018 at 10:35 am
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    So many historic buildings in Sheffield have been lost. Other cities seem to preserve the past & still have multi functional, tourist cities. The new buildings look awful!

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  • September 27, 2018 at 11:33 am
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    Our lovely historic buildings need to be kept. These suggested buildings are horrible. At the very least the frontages of the old buildings should be retained. There also seems to be no thought to any green infrastructure – where are the trees? This seems like Sheffield destroying it’s self…again.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 11:58 am
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    Please NO. Enough. We’ve lost so much of of our heritage already. These buildings have character, history and pride. They belong to us all and not just to commercial interest.
    The Blitz of the second world war and subsequent 50’s to 70’s demolition of much of our city centre has led to a characterless mirror of many other towns and cities.
    We should ALL do our best to hold on, enhance and use what is left.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm
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    How many more historic and craftsmen built buildings are we going to lose in Sheffield? Other cities make use of their beautiful architecture and attract visitors by doing so. Sheffield is a grand old historic city yet it seems it is destined to become another concrete nonentity. Save what we have left, let us have pride in the beauty of past generations.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm
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    Sheffield is losing its identity with a these new, modern structures being built. Many of the existing modern buildings are empty . Do we need any more? And why do they have to be so big? Keeping as much of the original buildings as is possible is visually more interesting than the characterless modern structures. Keep our heritage!

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  • September 27, 2018 at 3:08 pm
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    The front ages of these historic buildings should be restored and kept for future generations to appreciate. Build new structures behind (as often happens in London) to provide more usable space. As always, SCC don’t think about the future, just the now!

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  • September 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm
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    This is shocking – We should be looking at ways to enhance what we already have. We are all ready architecturally way behind other major cities, who have glorious ‘old’ buildings .

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  • September 27, 2018 at 6:43 pm
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    Do we actually need all this new office space,,or is our heritage being sacrificed for some speculative fantasy?

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:17 pm
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    SOS! Save Our Sheffield! Do we really need another high rise? What is wrong with SCC that they cannot see the beauty in our historic buildings? Yes, new is good but not at the expense of these beautiful historic buildings.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm
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    Footprint of proposed building the same as existing properties but the height of the the new structures is set to dwarf the retained frontage
    Very little appeal from the outward appearance of the proposed new structures
    The area currently has a strong identity with the current Victorian buildings
    There is a case for retaining just the frontage as has been done elsewhere in the city centre , but in those cases eight to ten stories were not added
    It certainly poses a striking contrast with added height and angular design
    Totally out of character with surrounding properties
    It appears to be another way of making as much revenue as possible from the space available nothing wrong with that
    Concrete and glass buildings have little appeal ,other than reflecting light to lower areas around the base of the buildings
    A case in point is the development behind the winter garden and Mercure hotel
    It is part residential ,but has no community spirit
    It is part restaurant and leisure orientated ,but the area is bereft of character and soul less outside the business operating times
    It is not what is needed in Sheffield city centre
    Just because Leeds has a glass non entity tower block and concrete boxes doesn’t mean Sheffield must have it too

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:53 pm
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    The old buildings should be retained and restored, far more attractive and interesting than more concrete monoliths.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 8:42 pm
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    I agree with all of the above comments. In particular Sheffield’s lovely historic buildings need to be kept. These suggested new buildings are horrible. At the very least the frontages of the old buildings should be retained. There also seems to be no thought to any green infrastructure – where are the trees? My first visit to Sheffield as a predominant city with a background relating to the steel industry some thirty five years ago impressed me with the lovely green lined avenues. The trees should be retained or replanted as necessary to replace any under threat.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 10:04 pm
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    It can be done ….and very successfully…just look at Leeds they have got it spot on.I went there recently for A shopping trip ( because my city Sheffield cannot provide the fabulous high street and independent shopping experience for me )
    It makes me so sad to know that the council just don’t seem to understand how important our heritage is.I ask the councillors responsible for the regeneration of my city to walk around Leeds and see just how to do the job right.Please take pride in Sheffield stop demolishing our beautiful buildings and work with them.

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  • September 28, 2018 at 7:52 am
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    Athol Hotel should be conserved-overall plan is is a sop to conservation as it stands -characterless overwhelming buildings.Why does Sheffield persist in demolishing old buildings? Heritage Strategy will come too late the way things are going.

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  • September 28, 2018 at 7:56 am
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    I despair of our Councillors mindset.Talk about sympathetic planning regarding heritage and conservation is simply that -talk.

    Reply

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