18th century Sheffield mansion to be transformed into care home
A row has broken out after Sheffield Council announced a disused 18th century mansion would be transformed into a care home.
The grade-II* listed Mount Pleasant building in Sharrow will be sold to care firm Hermes who will invest Â£6.7 million to convert the building into a 30-bed care home.
The council announced its notification of the decision, which is expected to be confirmed by Coun Olivia Blake, cabinet member for finance, on February 22, after interest from five bidders, including social enterprise Avenues to Zero who wanted to develop the site into flats, shops, offices and a community skills club.
Announcing the decision, Tammy Whitaker, the council's head of property, said: "We had several bids and we think that this option provides the best for the building, the community and the people of Sheffield.
"It doesn't just protect the building, it protects its grounds and its heritage. It is a site of national importance.
"For us, it ensures an opportunity to repair the building and provide a much-need facility for very vulnerable people."
Heremes' proposals will see the main building, on Sharrow Lane, transformed into a 30-bed care home and the stables will be converted it into a smaller, specialist facility with around eight bedrooms.
The current hub building - the former school - will be converted into ten properties which will be aimed at older people and key workers on the site. A further optional phase includes the possible addition of flats on the site.
Nadim Admani, co-director of Hermes, said the plans, which would be subject to planning permission, would create up to 80 jobs.
He said: "Our vision is not too dissimilar to others that were interested in developing the site. It's to create a community space but I suppose the difference is our focus is on the elderly.
"We want to develop the building but we want to try and keep as many features as possible and sympathetically renovate it so that when people go past they say: 'Wow'."
Alterations to the site would include creating more rooms than exist at the site at the minute to provide residents with privacy, inserting a lift and bringing back into use the mansion's basement for laundry facilities.
Mr Admani said: "Finding suitable sites for elderly care is not easy because we are always competing with developers and housebuilders and we can't compete so to have an opportunity to develop an old building and do it in a very good area of the city where beds are in short supply is great.
"Our intention is also to build a community space so we welcome the community as part of it. We will be creating spaces where the community will be welcome to join us."
Mr Admani added he hoped to work the NHS to solve bed blockages in Sheffield's hospitals.
Once the decision has been confirmed by Coun Rowley next week, Mr Admani's fellow co-director Saleem Hasan, said planning applications would be submitted for the transformation and the firm hoped to have the scheme complete within 12 to 18 months.