End of an era as block falls

Residents celebrate impending demolition of The Fosters, High Green, with the doomed tower block behind them.
Residents celebrate impending demolition of The Fosters, High Green, with the doomed tower block behind them.

BRICK by brick, one of Sheffield’s last remaining tower blocks is coming down, its brick and concrete walls munched away by a giant machine.

The Fosters has stood in High Green for the last 45 years and is a prominent local landmark.

But the 10-storey building needed a ‘significant’ investment to modernise its properties to current standards and the flats it contained were hard to let.

South Yorkshire Housing Association, which took over the block from Sheffield Council, decided to demolish the building and replace it with family homes.

To mark its demise, a small ceremony was held outside The Fosters, involving residents and local MP Angela Smith, before work started to demolish the building.

In May, all remaining Fosters tenants were rehoused by South Yorkshire Housing Association, in a new development of 15 new apartments directly opposite the site of the block.

After the demolition of the block, SYHA plans to begin construction of seven family homes on The Fosters site next year.

The new homes, designed by architects Brewsters Bye, are environmentally-friendly and include solar panels. 

Denise Fearnley, a former Fosters resident, said: “I was very happy living in The Fosters tower block having lived there since 1996 when SYHA started managing the building.  

“However, after undergoing a double hip operation, mobility is much easier and safer in my new home.

“The new flats are beautiful and spacious.

“I’d like to give a special thanks to all those at SYHA who have helped me with the move.”

Tony Stacey, SYHA chief executive, said: “I am delighted that our new development at High Green is going so well.

“We often had difficulty letting out the old flats within The Fosters, but we have heard nothing but praise from the residents living in the beautiful new homes.”