Cobnar Cottage to be put up for sale after complete refurbishment

Nick Gregory, Mark Leeming and Myron Abramiuk of Rotary Developments outside the restored Cobnar Cottage.

Nick Gregory, Mark Leeming and Myron Abramiuk of Rotary Developments outside the restored Cobnar Cottage.

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The sale of Cobnar Cottage, on the edge of Graves Park in Sheffield, caused huge controversy earlier this year.

More than 12,000 people signed a petition against the sale of the dilapidated building in Cobnar Road. But Sheffield Council pressed ahead, arguing that it was outside the park boundaries and the funds could be used to improve the open space.

Cobnar Cottage before it was sold in January 2016.

Cobnar Cottage before it was sold in January 2016.

The cottage was bought in January for £152,000 by Rotary Developments. And despite fears that it would be knocked down and replaced with a modern block of flats, the firm has spent nine months lovingly restoring the 17th century building, which is now almost ready to go on the market.

Mark Leeming, who runs the firm, said there was never any doubt the cottage would be restored once the purchase was confirmed.

"We were always going to refurbish it - so we saved it, in a way," he said.

"We were determined to buy it, regardless of the cost.

The restored Cobnar Cottage.

The restored Cobnar Cottage.

"I wasn't aware of it before the auction. I just thought it was a large house. But it's massively important to see it restored like it was.

"We have put something back as it should be. It's not a block of flats."

The two-bedroom cottage was in a dire state when it was bought in January. Mark's team, led by Myron Abramiuk, began a major refurbishment job that involved the removal of about 100 tonnes of soil and debris.

They took the roof off and replaced it, and exposed much of the original brickwork and wooden beams inside. They built a new stone fireplace and a conservatory, and installed a new kitchen and staircase.

Exposed brickwork and a new staircase.

Exposed brickwork and a new staircase.

A new porch was built, along with a matching stone outhouse, which can double as a shed or Wendy house. The garden was landscaped and a new dry stone boundary wall was built.

The outer walls were sand-blasted and re-pointed, giving what was once an eyesore the look of a new build.

The result is a home that has all the residents of Cobnar Road talking.

Mr Abramiuk said: "To say there were a lot of people against the sale, we have had nothing but positivity.

The rebuilt fireplace and exposed beams.

The rebuilt fireplace and exposed beams.

"People are happy that we have put it back like it should be - and have even sent us Christmas cards.

"The house wanted loving. And that's what we do."

Rotary Developments specialises in restoration. The firm has recently finished work on a Victorian home in Chesterfield Road, and previously refurbished an old headmaster's house in Killamarsh.

The company is currently having Cobnar Cottage valued and plans to put it on the market in the new year. In the meantime they will hold a small open day for residents of Cobnar Road to see the new-look cottage and enjoy the stunning views of Graves Park from the bedroom windows.

"It's been hard work, but it's been a pleasure doing it," said Mr Abramiuk.

Last month the council approved plans to spend more than £120,000 on the park - partly funded by the Cobnar Cottage money - which include upgrades to toilets, playgrounds and footpaths. The remainder of the income from the cottage is due to be spent on cricket and tennis facilities in the park.

The view of Graves Park from a bedroom window, with the new shed/Wendy house in the foreground.

The view of Graves Park from a bedroom window, with the new shed/Wendy house in the foreground.

But the Friends of Graves Park criticised the planned work, claiming much of it was maintenance rather than improvements to facilities, which is how it says the council had promised the proceeds would be spent.

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