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Old Town Hall application: Plans submitted for pod hotel and 'souk'

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Photo by Chard Remains (Save Sheffield Old Town Hall)

Developers have submitted new plans for the Old Town Hall at Castlegate. The 1808 building was last used in 1997 and has since fallen into disrepair.

The new plan includes 12 serviced apartments and 12 "pod hotel rooms". The Grade II listed building will also include a roof terrace and a 'souk' marketplace over two floors.

The pod hotel will reuse cells from when the building functioned as the city's Crown Court.

"The fundamental works underpinning the scheme will return the Old Town Hall to its former glory and therefore both preserve and enhance its historic significance," developers Aestrom OTH said in the application.

Some demolition is intended to the interior walls and this needs scrutinising in the planning application

They also state their wish to "treat the existing building extremely sensitively with the majority of work being to repair and restore."

The Manchester-registered firm have been active since January and were set up to redevelop the building.

Company director Efekoro Azino Omu also owns the former Cannon Hotel pub opposite the Old Town Hall.

The new application proposes some internal alterations to the building.

"Some demolition is intended to the interior walls and this needs scrutinising in the planning application," campaign group Friends Of Sheffield Old Town Hall told Now Then.

"Is this simply lightweight diving walls from the 1950s refurbishment, or Victorian moulded cornicework? Also, the removal of fixtures and fittings in some of the elaborate Victorian courtrooms goes against the listing of the building."

The application describes harm to the building as "relatively negligible" and the public benefits to be "very substantial."

The campaign group said that the Design and Access Report should be looked at "very carefully" to ensure that "the character of the building isn't ruined".

Aestrom OTH submitted the plans on 16 August. The Council will aim to make a decision by 19 November.

Sam Gregory

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How the building will look from Waingate.

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