The future of a historic Sheffield pub with links to the English Civil War could soon become clearer, with a planning application expected soon.
Carbrook Hall in Attercliffe is a Grade II*-listed building, part of which dates back to the early 1600s, and it was the family home of Colonel John Bright, a leading parliamentarian involved in the taking of Sheffield Castle.
The building is also said to be one of Yorkshire’s most-haunted places and has been described as ‘nationally important’, but concerns have grown since it was sold to West Street Leisure around 18 months ago and closed as a pub.
After a spate of break-ins, it was targeted by arsonists in April, with the intricate wooden panelling in the famed Old Oak Room, along with other historic features, luckily emerging relatively unscathed from the blaze.
The owner said he had stepped up security following that scare but fears heightened this month after items from the building were offered for sale online.
Mr Fogg has since said there was a ‘misunderstanding’ between him and the man advertising the goods, who had been employed to clear fire-damaged stocks and thought he was allowed to take those items which he has now returned.
But that was only after heritage campaigners raised the alarm with Sheffield Council and Historic England, with some calling for it to be added to the latter’s Heritage at Risk Register to reflect its endangered status.
Sheffield Council today sought to assuage those fears, assuring people nothing was being done which would affect the building’s ‘special character’.
It also revealed that a planning application to change the use of the premises, which has been listed by the council as a protected ‘asset of community value (ACV)’, is expected soon.
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for development and transport, said: “We are aware that planning/listed building applications to alter and change the use of Carbrook Hall are likely to be submitted in the near future.
“We understand that the applicants are doing preparatory works that don’t affect the special character of the listed building such as removing fire-damaged debris and modern additions such as satellite dishes. Nothing is being done that affects the special character of the hall itself.”
Sean Fogg, of West Street Leisure has previously said he is in talks with a ‘multinational’ company interested in leasing the building but he has not revealed what it might become, though he has claimed it is no longer commercially viable as a pub.
Dave Pickersgill, of Sheffield and District CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), was among those to voice his concerns following the latest scare over items appearing for sale online.
He said: “The long-term survival of Carbrook Hall requires a functioning business operating on the premises. This could be a pub: it could have another use.
“However, the current situation is simply one of neglect – a Grade II*-listed building with ACV status slowly rotting – this an embarrassment for the city.”
Brian Holmshaw, of Sheaf Valley Heritage, called on the council to check security arrangements were up to scratch following reports of items being offered for sale.
And Sheffield heritage campaigner Joy Bullivant said: “It’s important everything possible is done to preserve this nationally important building which could form part of a history trail through the city.”