Heart of the City II – “Cambridge Street Collective” has heritage at its heart

Cambridge StreetHeritage campaigners, including representatives of Joined Up Heritage Sheffield and Hallamshire Historic Buildings, have been working with Sheffield City Council to try to get a better hearing for heritage as the ambitious Heart of the City II scheme advances, and we’re pleased to report that they are listening. Planning applications have been submitted for Block H3. This is the area between Cambridge Street, Wellington Street and Backfields, starting just below Leah’s Yard and the former Sportsman pub (which will be covered by a separate application in the future). Nearly all the historic buildings along Cambridge and Wellington Streets will be retained, in most cases as complete buildings.

This is a massive turnaround from twenty years ago. Then, proposals for the New Retail Quarter saw all these buildings demolished, and even as recently as 2018 the masterplan showed only the Bethel Sunday School surviving, hemmed in by new and much taller buildings. Today’s proposals are so different as to be unrecognisable. Behind the historic buildings on Cambridge and Wellington Streets, which will be kept with internal adaptations and reconstruction where necessary to bring them back into use, will stand the “Cambridge Street Collective”, a low-rise building including a large, industrial-style space where people will be able to meet to eat, drink and be entertained.

We believe that the involvement of the heritage sector has helped the Council to take a more positive view of the value of heritage, and these new proposals are much better for it. Credit is due to the Council’s City Centre Development Manager, Nalin Seneviratne, for taking the time to listen to us, as well as the architects Feilden Clegg Bradley. Their approach should become the benchmark, and not just for Council developments: the Council should be holding other developers to do the same.

The application references are 20/01437/RG3 and 20/01438/LBCRG3, and everyone is encouraged to view them and submit comments. More information can be found at www.heartofcity2.com/news.

Wellington Street