Does this pave the way for excavated Sheffield castle ruins and park? Or just Leeds-style crap office blocks?
This morning it was announced that the Minister for tourism and heritage has decided not to list Castle market building.
This news means that in theory the major stumbling block to the Castlegate part of the 2008 city centre masterplan has been removed.
The masterplan outlined a vision for the excavation of Sheffield castle ruins, which are under the present market building, and the creation of a park in the vicinity. This would be an important part of of the regeneration of the Castlegate and Victoria quays area.
The debate about whether or not it should be listed has gone on for a few months now. Some people see the old markets as a eyesore in an already run down area and would be glad to see it gone.
Others see the 1960s building as an example of what makes Sheffield different to other northern cities. They argue that it is a unique place where working class people come to shop that has been neglected over the years, which should be kept in the heart of the city.
On the radio tonight a councillor said that archaeologists would be given time to investigate the ruins of the castle to see what can be made of them. But in a recession is it possible that the masterplan proposals would never be realised anyway?
The author of the blog posts linked to above, Owen Hatherley, has said in reaction to the announcement that the remains of the market are dull and that ‘there will be no park, just a wasteland that will eventually be filled, in the extremely unlikely event the economy picks up, with Leeds-style crap office blocks.’
What do you think? Should we demolish the market building now it will not be listed and hope that the masterplan comes to fruition? Or does it have a social value and architectural merit that we need to retain?