Pound’s Park plans spark conflicting responses among Sheffield residents

Written by Izzie Pridmore

Plans to build a multi-faceted park in the city centre have been met with polarised responses from Sheffielders, caught between its environmental benefits and the potential eradication of the city’s rich history.

Intended to be situated between Rockingham Street, Wellington Street and Carver Street, the park is set to include an interactive water play area, urban orchard and an accessible link between planned new bus stops on Rockingham Street to the back of John Lewis.

Retired lecturer Steve Marples, 72, of Walkley was concerned the park, named after Sheffield’s first Chief Fire Officer, Superintendent John Charles Pound, will eliminate the city centre’s history.

“People used to love the place opposite the cathedral which used to be called Cole’s Corner and that’s where all the lovers used to meet. But then that moved and became a John Lewis’s, so that’s what I mean by the bits of history. There should be some things which are never changed,” he said.

“It’s kind of important. They never have given any credence to retaining anything, it’s kind of build up, knock down.”

“Don’t get me wrong the idea of some greenery and some space in the city centre is a beautiful idea but it’s a project which goes beyond the building of the park.”

Part of the Heart of the City II scheme, it is hoped the park increase biodiversity and provide sustainable management of rainwater through tree planting.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment, said: “The scheme is transforming Sheffield city centre, creating new places to live, work, shop and socialise. Alongside the new and repurposed buildings, we understand the importance of introducing more attractive outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Civil servant Robert Whateley, 52, looks forward to the changes which he believes will make the city more environmentally friendly and provide improved, open areas.

“I’ve always thought for a long time that there’s not enough room and space in Sheffield city centre and sort of working in and around there for the best part of my working life it’s always been, in lunch hours, a place to go,” he said.

“When you compare Sheffield city centre with some of the other big cities around, Newcastle and Leeds, it’s way behind. In terms of that, I’ve not got an issue with the council investing and spending money in the city centre, I think it’s long overdue.”

Written by Izzie Pridmore

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