Jessop building loss would hurt

J Robin Hughes

Towngate Road, Worrall, S35

The University of Sheffield want to demolish the Edwardian extension of the former Jessop Hospital.

They ask us to believe that completely demolishing a listed building does not amount to substantial harm (this helps them to get around planning rules), but of course it does, not only to a building of architectural merit and historic importance (as its listing clearly implies), but to the wider historic streetscape connecting several other listed buildings (including St George’s church, the Gell Street Jessop annexe, Somme Barracks, several properties on Glossop Road) and Conservation Areas (Hanover, Furnace Hill).

Modern development has mostly been introduced sensitively – although historic survival is sparse around the Jessop site after a decade in University ownership – so why not continue to do so?

The university appear only to be willing to consider one specific objective that they have defined for themselves, and are not prepared to consider any proposal with even marginally less benefit to them or the public on this or another site, nor any other uses for the site even though they themselves had proposed another viable use.

Even given the value that we place on the University, they cannot have free rein to do as they please: heritage conservation is public benefit, too.

The application references are 12/02873/FUL and 12/02874/LBC. Any other readers who object to yet more needless destruction should make their opinions known to planning officers.