New lease of life for post office building

New engineering graduate school
New engineering graduate school

SHEFFIELD’S former head post office is poised for a new lease of life after laying derelect for more than decade.

The grade-II listed building in Fitzalan Square has been empty since 1999 and has become a target for vandals and thieves.

Old Post Office Building Fitzalan Square

Old Post Office Building Fitzalan Square

Successive owners have come and gone and ambitious plans for the Victorian building have fallen by the wayside.

The last developers, Your Space plc - which bought the site for £5.3 million in 2007 with a view to building a hotel and offices - went into administration last year. But now new owners Langland Estates are in talks with the council to give the landmark site a new lease of life.

The firm has appointed Sheffield-based architects Axis Architecture to draw up plans and workmen are due to move in next month to start clearing up the site.

Ben Otter, associate at Axis, said substantial work needs to be done to make the building safe, after vandals stole all the lead from the roof, smashed windows and tore off the drain pipes.

“Our main priority is repair. We need to get the asbestos out of the building and make the site safe before we can erect scaffolding and lay new lead on the roof. The previous owners didn’t do a great job of looking after the building.”

Mr Otter said he had been in discussions with council officers to negotiate suitable plans for the site, and estimated blueprints would be submitted for planning permission early next year.

He would not reveal what the new plans involved, but said a hotel - for which the site already has outline planning permission - was not on the cards. He also ruled out the site being used for flats.

Sheffield’s head post office was built in 1893, with the grand north and west wings and tower added in the early 20th century.