May 1850. Water that flowed down an underground sewer in Howard Street had formerly been derived from springs in the neighbourhood. It ran down the hillside and emptied into the River Sheaf near the Pond tilt. All went well until several properties in Eyre Street, at the top of the hill, started emptying waste into the drain. It might not have been an issue had it not been for Thomas Dewsnap of Arundel Works, who discovered that his father had diverted the sewer to a reservoir at the works and used the water to power a steam engine. The reservoir water started giving-off a foul smell and after numerous complaints from neighbours was deemed to be injurious to the health of the neighbourhood.
News of a significant proposed development within Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter Conservation Area.
Sheffield Hallam University has submitted a planning application for the erection of three new higher education blocks within its city campus on the existing Science Park site and adjacent surface car park. Blocks A, BC and D are planned around a new public green space provisionally named University Green. It forms a revised Phase One of SHU’s campus masterplan, initiated in 2017/18, and considers changes to the workplace because of the pandemic.
The site covers an area bordered by Paternoster Row, Howard Street, Arundel Street and Charles Street, and is alongside the Hubs complex.
Block D will become a key civic gateway building to the city and campus. In response to this, the tallest part of the development is located at the key junction between Howard Street and Paternoster Row to symbolise a new gateway and reference to the old clock tower of the Arthur Davy & Sons building that once stood on part of the site.
This area was once known as Alsop Fields where ancient hunting rights were claimed. In the late 18th century, the Duke of Norfolk set about his ambitious and grand plan to develop the neighbourhood into a fashionable residential district in response to the growing wealth of manufacture. The masterplan was prepared by James Paine. He proposed a rigid grid framework incorporating a hierarchy of streets, with main streets and a pattern of smaller ones for each urban block, serving mews to the rear of the main houses.
In the 1780s, work on the Georgian estate grid commenced to the north of the site beginning with the parallel routes of Union Street, Eyre Street and Arundel Street from the town centre, extending to Matilda Street (formerly Duke Street). However, the masterplan didn’t transpire largely because Sheffield’s inhabitants didn’t want or couldn’t afford the properties as planned.
Despite the masterplan never being wholly built, the legacy of the Duke of Norfolk is retained in many of the streets being named after his family members.
The site designated for redevelopment became a series of factories, workshops, small shops, as well as the site of the County Hotel. Much of the land was cleared during the 1980s, with the creation of Sheffield Hallam University’s Science Park (1996) in red brick by Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson. This will be swept away in the proposed development.
It’s remarkable that Sheffield has never officially paid tribute to Marti Caine. However, there is a sculpture at the top of Howard Street, near Sheffield Hallam University, that is named after her.
Marti Caine grew up in Shiregreen and her vocal talents, wit and engaging personality made her a mainstay of the northern club circuit before she leapt to national prominence by winning the TV talent show New Faces in 1975 – a programme she went on to present with great success.
In her later years, she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of cancer charities before succumbing to lymphatic cancer on November 4, 1995, aged 50, after a long illness.
Marti was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of her contribution to the world of entertainment, and the film Funny Cow, starring Maxine Peake, was loosely based on her compelling life story.
The gritstone and stainless steel sculpture dedicated to her, originally called Sheen, is often referred to simply as ‘Marti’, one of the pieces made for the Stone City Symposium of 1995. It was commissioned by Sheffield Hallam University and was to have been revealed by Marti Caine, who died two weeks before the opening; it was decided to dedicate the sculpture to her instead.
The stainless steel was intended to reflect the changing weather and reflect passing traffic which flicker across the inset steel squares on the Arundel Gate side of the sculpture.
Describing his work at the time, Mick Farrell, its creator said: “Using stainless steel and stone I hope to set up a contradiction within the nature of both materials. This architectural piece would act both as a landmark and a point to view from.”
I don’t think anybody saw this coming. Sheffield’s biggest ever development project – a £1.5bn plan to develop the area around Sheffield Railway Station, dwarfing the £480m Heart of the City II scheme.
The plan is to maximise the economic potential of the area and make the most of HS2, and will now go out for public consultation.
The idea stems from plans for HS2 trains to stop at Sheffield Station on a loop off the mainline which were recently given the green light by the government.
Sheffield City Council would co-ordinate the project, with funding coming from several organisations including the city council, HS2, SYPTE, Transport for the North, Network Rail, Sheffield City Region and the Department for Transport. The bulk of the costs – up to £1bn – would be from the private sector, which would build offices, restaurants, bars and potentially a hotel.
The project would see the closure of Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street – the dual carriageway that runs in front of the station – would swap places with the tram route that runs behind.
A huge, landscaped pedestrian bridge would link Park Hill with Howard Street and the multi-storey car park on Turner Street would be demolished and moved further away.
It would be replaced by an office block – one of up to 12 planned in the ‘Sheffield Valley’ zone, including four outside the station, employing up to 3,000 people.
Up to 1,000 homes – flats and houses – could also be built.
The new tram route would run from Fitzalan Square, along Pond Street, stop outside the station and continue along Suffolk Road to Granville Square.
The bus station on Pond Street would be reduced in size to make room for the tram tracks and offices on stilts potentially built on top.
Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street would become a park and link into the Grey to Green scheme at Victoria Quays, Castlegate and West Bar.
Under the plans the ‘Q park’ would move to the Wren-DFS site on nearby St Mary’s Road.
There would be a new, sheltered, taxi rank next to the station, but the taxi ‘stacking’ area would be moved ‘slightly further out’ improving access for drop-offs and people with mobility needs.
The area between St Mary’s Road, Queens Road and Sheaf Gardens, currently home to businesses including a Pure Gym, would be a new residential centre for up to 700 homes, with a further 300 spread throughout the area.