Historic pub opposite Hallam FC ground to be demolished to make way for houses

Sheffield Council officers have recommended a historic pub be demolished for houses.

The Plough Inn
The Plough Inn

The Plough Inn on Sandygate Road sits opposite Hallam FC, the oldest football ground in the world.

The current vacant building was built in 1929 but there is evidence the pub existed in one form or another since the mid 1600s.

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Axis Architecture submitted plans to knock it down and build eight four-bedroom townhouses in its place in two four storey blocks with a car park for up to 18 vehicles.

Elected members on the council’s highways and planning committee are set to decide next month if the plans will go ahead, following a community campaign to save it.

There were 205 objections and seven letters of support received by the council, including objections from councillor Anne Murphy, Save Britain’s Heritage, Campaign for Real Ale and the Crookes and Crosspool Green Party.

Some issues raised by objectors included that there was enough local support in terms of want and financial pledges to revive it as a viable pub, demolishing it would “change the character of the local setting”, the proposed design was too high, more residents could increase traffic, one went as far as to say it was “cultural vandalism” to demolish it and others called for it to be celebrated as a historic football site.

Sheffield FC also made a representation and confirmed the rules of modern football – which were believed to have been written in The Plough – were written in a greenhouse on East Bank Road. It also denied any association with the pub and wrote in support of the plans to demolish it.

An application to turn it into a supermarket was previously refused in 2017. A council report said the reason was it would be too much of a loss to the community.

In a council report on the plans, officers recommended the committee approved the latest plans, subject to conditions and said: “The use of this brownfield site for housing, the preferred use of land in housing areas, and the provision of a reasonable number of family dwellings is a moderate benefit, particularly in light of the emphasis the government gives to boosting the supply of new homes.

“It is considered the proposed development is of a high design quality that will make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the wider area. While the architectural response is contemporary, the scale, form and materials are sympathetic to the local vernacular.

“The level of parking provision is considered to be acceptable and the proposals raise no highway safety concerns.

“The many objections to the proposed re-development of the site largely relate to the loss of the existing public house, an Asset of Community Value. Bearing in mind the failed community bid, the public house has been closed for almost five years and with little realistic prospect of the site being used for a future community use, it is thought likely that the site will fall into further disrepair.

“The development plan encourages the retention of historic buildings which are of local interest, but not listed, but expects this to be weighed against the merits of any proposed scheme to replace them. Whilst regrettable, it is considered that the proposal to demolish the public house and redevelop the site for good quality housing can be justified.

“Therefore for the reasons set out in the report, and in accordance with the local development plan and all other matters, the proposed development is considered to be acceptable and it is recommended that members grant planning permission subject to proposed conditions.”

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 4 from 2pm.