The property developer who wanted to demolish the Old Coroner’s Court has appealed to the Planning Inspector against the refusal of planning permission by the council in October 2019. Cllr Douglas Johnson has written to the inspector in support of the planning committee’s decision:
Dear Mr Cannon,
It has just been brought to my attention that the developer has appealed. As an objector on the original planning application, I understand the local authority should have informed me of this appeal. This did not happen but I hope you will take these comments into account. I am therefore writing with brief comments in support of the decision to refuse planning permission.
I am a councillor for the ward where the Old Coroner’s Court is situated and I also have an interest in heritage issues. This area is close to the original heart of Sheffield, which is currently the subject of much professional and political discussion as to its future redevelopment. Indeed, this has been so contentious that a formal consultation on a proposed Castlegate Conservation Area, which would have included the Old Coroner’s Court, was cancelled abruptly on the instruction of then then Cabinet member, Cllr Mazher Iqbal, after “vociferous challenge” from developers.
As set out in my objection letter – which summarised informal feedback from constituents – I noted the design was “frankly, uninspiring and look like a multi-storey car park.” Its location, as planning committee members will have known, overlooks an important and new public riverside park.
In my view, the proposed development would be a significant, adverse effect on the setting. For that reason, I think the committee was entitled to come to the view that it did. It was clearly within its discretion.
It seems to me that the developer’s main ground of appeal is that he had met with the cabinet member and with officers and he implies he had been promised the result he sought. The developer is entirely mistaken [5.19 of the grounds] when he states the design “was agreed by the delegated planning officer.” The decision was one for the Committee, after hearing from the developer and reading the officers’ advice- it was not delegated to the officer.
I trust this is of assistance.
Cllr Douglas Johnson, (Green Party)
City Ward, Sheffield