Gothic-style former heritage museum in Sheffield to be turned into food hall

Plans to transform a Gothic-style former Sunday School building and heritage museum into a food hall has been given the green light.

Councillors on Sheffield Council’s planning and highways committee unanimously approved the plans, with conditions restricting hours and delivery times, following a lengthy discussion.

Inventive Service Company can now get working on its transformation of the vacant and derelict Gothic style Sunday school building – last used as a university heritage museum for 20 years – at 605 Ecclesall Road.

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It follows the success of food halls such as Kommune, Cutlery Works and Sheffield Plate in other parts of the city.

605 Ecclesall Road605 Ecclesall Road
605 Ecclesall Road

The main building will be converted into a restaurant hall with a small bar, shopping and flexible seating areas that could be booked for business meetings. Plans also include a new mezzanine floor and a single-storey extension at the back of the building.

Ahead of the vote, Coun Peter Price said: “It’s important we keep the building. It was used as a museum for over 20 years by the university and stood empty for more than 12 years now. It’s fallen into disrepair and is attracting anti-social behaviour. It’s important we have got to find a use for this fairly quickly.

“I don’t see any planning reason for refusing this application. I think you’ve bent over backwards to fulfil what is required. It will save that building which is important and add another attraction in that area. I’m going to support the officer’s recommendation [to approve].”

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The plans had a mixed reaction from the public. There were some supporters who said bringing the site back into use was positive but nearby residents raised concern about noise and disruption.

In the meeting, Emma Hartland, an accident and emergency nurse at Northern General Hospital who lives with her partner and their one year old child on Neill Road just behind the site, said the noise and disruption would ruin the quiet housing area they live in.

Initial opening hours had closing times past midnight which prompted many objections from neighbouring residents.

Council officers also thought it was unacceptable and insisted on the venue having the same hours of 9am until 11.30pm that other businesses in the area have.