Hospital demolition plan back on agenda

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a Grade II listed building to make way for a university’s new engineering department are likely to go ahead, despite more objections from conservation bodies.

Sheffield Council gave the scheme consent in December but it has now been forced to revisit the decision after it emerged the authority failed to follow Government planning guidance regarding consultation.

Angry protesters have consistently opposed Sheffield University, which wants to pull down the Edwardian wing of the former Jessop Hospital for Women and build a new faculty of engineering on the site.

The city’s planning committee approved the blueprints for the new building on December 17, and said it was minded to allow a listed building application for the demolition.

But the issue will be discussed again at a meeting on Monday after the council admitted it had not consulted with five of the six so-called “national amenity societies” concerned with preserving heritage, which should be asked to comment on such proposals.

A report to Monday’s meeting shows that several of those societies, including the Ancient Mounments Society and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings have urged a rethink.

It is pointed out that in the whole of 2012 only six such demolition applications were made across the whole country.

In each case, they were all refused.

It is likely that Monday’s meeting will not rethink the approval decision made at the end of last year.

However, members will be advised to refer the application to the Government for final approval.