Observatory faces demolition

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FOR 30 years, students and staff of the University of Sheffield have looked to the stars from the hills near Lodge Moor.

Now the dome-shaped Bole Hill Observatory is facing demolition.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has alternative facilities in the form of two observatory domes on the roof of the Hicks Building in Western Bank on the main campus as well as a number of portable telescopes, said a university spokeswoman.

“Students also have the opportunity to go on a field trip to use a telescope in the Canary Islands.”

She added: “The Bole Hill Observatory has not been used for observing purposes by the university for approximately two years.

“As part of the lease agreement, the university is required to return the land to its original state, which involves removal of the observatory building.

“An external company carrying out this work on behalf of the university has applied for planning permission to Sheffield City Council and a decision is pending.”