The plan to demolish independent shops on Devonshire Street has been approved by Sheffield council, despite the huge opposition of protesters chanting “Save Dev Street”.
Demonstrators gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall today to voice their anger for the proposed plan to replace independent shops down Devonshire Street with new accommodation. The plan also received 20,000 objections.
The shops that are facing closure, due to the new scheme, are Rare & Racy, Syd and Mallory, and Natural Bed Company.
But, despite the large crowd of demonstrators, most of whom were left chanting outside after not being able to sit in the packed out council meeting, office recommendation was granted with seven for, three against and one abstaining.
Members of the audience shouted at the councillors: “you are supposed to be supporting us”. They also booed at Adam Murray, Planning Director for Coda, who said: “This is a bit of get out of jail free card for Rare and Racy”.
Cllr Denise Reaney chose to abstain from the vote, saying: “This city, over the years, has made so many mistakes; the city council has done more damage than the bombs in World War Two. But, sadly, I can’t find a valid planning reason to refuse this application; so, on moral grounds, I am going to abstain from the vote”.
Amongst the minority of councillors who voted against the plan was Cllr Jack Clarkson, who said: “If we knock this down we’re going to build another bog standard student accommodation where you can’t open the windows”.
In the firing line from councillors was Sheffield City Council’s development manager, Lucy Bond, who said: “I understand there is a lot of public support for this street and it has not been an easy decision to make”.
By Jonathan Pickles