Old Coroner’s Court is saved after demolition application is withdrawn

Councillors have renewed their commitment to ensuring that a historic former coroner’s court building can be sympathetically improved after a developer was urged to withdraw its application for demolition.

The Old Coroner’s Court on Nursery Street was built in 1913 by the first city architect FEP Edwards and was a state-of-the-art facility. Today’s announcement is further positive news for the Castlegate area following the start yesterday of the first-ever archaeological dig on the site of the former castle and grounds.

The coroner’s court includes a court, mortuary, post-mortem rooms, viewing chapel, witnesses’ waiting rooms and police accommodation together with a yard and stabling.

Bomb damage during the Second World War led to a remodelling in the 1950s and youth court facilities were added to the site. It later became used as a business centre.

The Council has worked proactively with both the property developer and campaigners.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Development and Transport said: “We are seeing huge and very welcome development in this part of the city, which is a sign of great confidence in Sheffield as a whole. But the Old Coroner’s Court is a special building and so it’s right that we examine any proposal to demolish it very carefully.

“Sheffield’s heritage is unique, and plays a key role in the future economic success of our city. Heritage should only be lost when there are overwhelming reasons to justify it. That hasn’t happened in this case yet. We had a number of concerns about this application, which we shared with the Developer. I’m pleased they’ve now taken our advice and are going to come back to discuss a better scheme that is more in keeping with our values as a city. We are looking forward to working with them on this.”

Councillor Ian Saunders, Heritage Champion at Sheffield City Council said: “I’m really pleased that the developer has withdrawn their application after we shared our concerns. Nobody is saying we’ll never allow work to take place here, just that it’s got to be right for Sheffield. I’d like to thank all those involved in the campaign to save this building. They have taken a balanced and pragmatic view that has the city’s best long-term interests at heart. This issue is a good example of how campaigners, the council and developers can work together to the right outcome.”