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Redevelopment plans for Sheffield former courthouse approved

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image copyrightSheffield City Council
image captionAn artist's impression of how the former courtroom could look

Plans have been approved to redevelop a former courthouse in Sheffield and create "pod" hotel rooms and apartments.

The Grade II-listed Old Town Hall near Castlegate was built in 1808 and has been empty since 1996.

Sheffield City Council planners have said the building can be developed while "preserving it as much as possible".

It was formerly the city's courthouse and town hall.

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The building was placed on the Victorian Society's list of most at-risk buildings in the UK in 2007 and bought in March by Aestrom.

The application is for serviced apartments, shops, cafes and hotel rooms in the 42,000 sq ft (3,900 sq m) building.

image copyrightFriends of Sheffield Old Town Hall
image captionWood panelling and benches from the original courthouse will be reused in the development
image copyrightFriends of Sheffield Old Town Hall
image captionThe Old Town Hall in the city centre has been empty since 1996

Efe Omu, from Aestrom, said it was a "huge honour" to develop a building of "such historical significance".

"I am thrilled to be able to breathe new life into the building and it is my mission to be sympathetic to its importance to Sheffield," he said.

"I intend to retain the features of the building, including restoration where needed."

A souk market is also planned for the basement.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal said the Old Town Hall was "significant" to Sheffield's history.

"Because it's in the heart of our rapidly-evolving Castlegate quarter, [the council] has committed significant time and effort to ensuring its future viability," he added.

The council has approved other developments around Castlegate, with businesses such as Castle House (Kolider) and Grey to Green moving into the area.

Castle Market was demolished in 2013 and archaeological excavations on Sheffield Castle beneath were completed earlier this year.

image copyrightFriends of Sheffield Old Town Hall
image captionThe heritage statement for the development said some areas had "deteriorated to an unsafe condition"

Valerie Bayliss, of the Friends of Sheffield Old Town Hall, said: "While we are pleased that the Old Town Hall is to be restored, something we have been campaigning and planning for, we are disappointed that the council failed to take steps to ensure at least part of the building retains its historic significance."

Ms Bayliss said the group had asked for one of the major courtrooms to retain its fittings to be recognisable as a former courtroom.

However, she said: "Unfortunately officers advised that alternative viable uses of the court spaces could not be found."

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Related Topics

  • Sheffield
  • Sheffield City Council

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