Developers have recently submitted a planning application to Sheffield Council to demolish the string of independent retail shops on Devonshire Street and replace them with flats, restaurants and cafes. The application seeks to replace 162 to 170 Devonshire Street, which would result in the closure of the Natural Bed Company, Rare and Racy, the Rag Parade Vintage Store and Syd and Mallory.
Vibrant Retail Quarter Faces Possible Demolition
As professional shop sign makers in Sheffield, we like to keep our eye on what is going on in the various retail areas of the city. The recent news about the possible demolition of a number of shops on Devonshire Street comes as a blow to this vibrant independent retail quarter of Sheffield, and there are many that oppose the plans. Devonshire Street is a popular area of the city centre with an eclectic mix of independent retail shops and quirky boutiques selling everything from vintage jewellery and clothes to second hand books and records.
Petition Handed to City Planners
The petition against the demolition has now been handed in to city planners, which has over 18,000 signatures. Sheffield poet Jonathan Butcher, who stocks his books at the independent book store Rare and Racy, set up the petition. He said: “Those signatures on that petition just show how much people value this area of Sheffield. Students choose to come to Sheffield for the underground music scene and the independent vintage shops and emporiums. People are going to forget what Sheffield is all about it if developers keep building complexes. It’s becoming more and more corporate.”
Comment from Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield visited the shop owners to discuss the plans from Sheffield business Primesite Ltd. He said: “I’ve had a lot of constituents get in touch with me and they are really concerned. I share that concern, because I think shops like this on Devonshire Street really make the character of the city centre, it’s not just about the big chains. We want small, independents that give life to the city. I’m really worried that, not only the development but the change in the uses for these units so restaurants and bars can move in will fundamentally weaken the city centre.”