A date has been set for a verdict by planning committee members on the proposed redevelopment of part of Devonshire Street in Sheffield city centre.
An application to demolish a row of shops - including Rare and Racy, the Natural Bed Company and Syd and Mallory’s Emporium - to make way for a new block of shops, cafes and apartments will be decided upon at a Town Hall meeting on March 24.
Councillors will have to contend with the weight of protests which include an 18,000-name online petition, and more than 700 individual objections.
But agents Coda, who are handling the scheme for developers Primesite, say the proposals have been ‘received postively’ by council officers, and that they expect the plans to be recommended for approval.
Amended designs have been submitted changing the range of apartment sizes on offer.
Adam Murray, Coda’s planning director, said: “In terms of the design of the building we are making very few changes to our original plans as we are already replicating the original building, as shown in those initial designs.
“However, we are providing more details so it can more easily be seen exactly how the building will replicate the existing structure and highlight the increased detailing of the new façade.
“We are also changing the mix of apartments in the new rear extension to include a number of two bedroom units, ensuring there’s a mix of dwelling sizes.
“In addition the more detailed plans being submitted to the council make it very clear how this scheme will work and enhance the character of the built environment.
“Following further and extremely useful talks with planning officers, the proposals have been received positively and we expect them to recommend that the scheme is approved at planning committee on March 24.”
Primesite say the buildings are in poor condition and the replacement would be in keeping with its surroundings.
Among the most recent objectors is Syd and Mallory’s, which said the demolition would make it ‘impossible’ for the business to find other affordable premises.
“We can’t lose this row of lovely independent businesses,” said the clothes shop’s Lucy Jo Newell.