Douglas Johnson
Cllr Douglas Johnson

Last year I highlighted the threat to demolish the Old Coroner’s Court, the attractive piece of heritage that fronts onto Nursery St Pocket Park in the city centre.

It was purpose-built in 1913 to offer a sense of dignity and calm to the families going through the trauma of an inquest after an untimely death. It is an important area of heritage, situated opposite a cementation furnace and with the Holy Trinity Church, Aizlewood’s Mill and the remarkable Royal Exchange Buildings nearby.

So I made personal contact with the developer. We talked business and he agreed to withdraw his demolition notice and make use of the pre-application planning service to work up a suitable design.

When the Planning Committee was faced this week with a disappointing plan to demolish this historic building and replace it with an uninspiring design of tiny bedsits, it is not surprising they were unimpressed.

The committee wanted to know why officers had rejected designs that would have allowed the original building to be retained.

So I was very pleased that many of the councillors took the unusual step of rejecting the planning officers’ recommendation that would allow this bland redevelopment to replace the existing building.

The sensible thing now would be for the developer and planning officers to look again at earlier designs that retain and restore the fabric of the historic building.

Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party


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