One of Sheffield’s most historic buildings is set to become a Starbucks drive-thru after Sheffield City Council voted unanimously in favour of the plans yesterday.
Carbrook Hall, in Attercliffe, was previously a pub but its future has been uncertain since it closed its doors early last year.
In April, the Grade II-listed building suffered damage after an arson attack which has reportedly left it in total disrepair.
Now, thanks to an investment by American coffee company Starbucks, the restoration of the hall has been secured.
Sean Fogg, a representative of West Street Leisure who own the Hall, has said this is the only commercially viable option for the building.
He said: “We’ve had the building for 18 months, we’ve marketed it through various commercial agents, recognised agents within Sheffield and South Yorkshire and we’ve had nobody interested in taking the building on.”
“This building is not just part of a concrete city. What we’ve got to have is some common ground and common sense. In all fairness this is not just someone taking on a building, this is a fantastic opportunity and we are preserving this building” he added.
The Hall dates back to 1176 and was used as a base to orchestrate an attack on Sheffield Castle during the Civil War.
According to Fogg, Starbucks has promised that this history will not be erased.
“This building will be fully restored and preserved to bring it back into use for Sheffield and future generations to enjoy the splendour of the building. All the original features are all going to be fully restored and kept as they are.”
“It brings many valuable jobs into Sheffield and you’ve got a long-term investment from a multi-national company who’s investing in Sheffield so it does tick all the boxes” he added.
There have also been many who did not welcome yesterday’s decision.
Dave Pickersgill, pub heritage officer from Sheffield and District CAMRA, said: “This planning decision flags up the latest chapter in the history of this building. It could have been a thriving public house. The owner has gone for the easy and, possibly lucrative, option of partnering with a multinational.”
“The listed parts of the building should be safe for future generations. However, it is yet another loss to the independent trade for which Sheffield is famed,” he added.
West Street Leisure has described the hall’s future as a business decision, but Sheffield councillor Peter Price says this is not the right attitude.
He said: “Not when it is a building of importance for future generations and that’s where the elected members have to make that decision. I can understand a business has to be viable but at the same time it is a very important building and that must have a part to play in the future of our city. It’s important as a city that we try to preserve what we can.”
Watch the video below to hear if Peter Price thinks this is the best way to preserve the Hall: