Campaigners have been trying to save the shops on Devonshire Street from being bulldozed, and have now raised £15,000 in order to launch a legal battle. There have been more than 20,000 objections to the controversial plans, also previously reported by experts in shop signs Sheffield Image Sign Studio. Sheffield Council plan to knock down the shops on Devonshire Street and replace them with shops, restaurants and flat.
Save Devonshire Street
The head of Save Devonshire Street Nick Roscoe said “The community has shown it is totally behind us and I think if there is any chance of holding the council to account then we have got to take it.” There has also been an organised protest outside Sheffield Town Hall, in which hundreds of people attended to protest against the scheme to convert the shops into flats and restaurants. Campaigners were out in force to make it known that they disagreed with the plans, saying that the shops on Devonshire Street are part of the city’s heritage.
According to Sheffield Council, they have been put in a difficult position regarding Devonshire Street and expressed clearly that their hands have been tied by government requirements. Sheffield City Councillor, Leigh Bramall, said: “Although technically we make the decision on planning applications, our hands are tied by the stringent planning laws set out by the government. If we did not follow these laws we would be putting the Council under a big risk of being taken to an appeal by the developer, to be heard by the National Planning Inspectorate, which would mean that the Council would be overruled and the development go ahead, but with the Council facing huge legal bills. What we need to see is the Council being given the powers to make the decisions to shape the future of our high streets, so we can make the decisions locally, listening to the views of local people rather than having to follow arbitrary rules made up by bureaucrats in Whitehall.”
Raising Money for Legal Costs
The campaigners have been trying to raise the money needed for the legal costs for a judicial review to overturn the decision to knock the shops down. The money will cover the costs in case permission for a review of the case is refused, and has been raised through a variety of fundraising events and activities including an art auction, gigs, and online crowdfunding from those who support the campaigners.
Professional Shop Sign Makers Sheffield
When the review application has been submitted, a judge could decide the campaigners have a case based on the paperwork, or it could go to the High Court for a hearing in August. As professional makers of shop signs Sheffield, Image Sign Studio are very aware of the support for this eclectic group of shops and think it’s a shame not only that they may be destroyed, but sad that so many people are upset by the proceedings.