New lease of life for historic listed property

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A Sheffield law firm Wake Smith Solicitors has helped secure the future of a historic listed building in the city.

Commercial property lawyers from Wake Smith worked with developers Aestrom OTH throughout the acquisition including obtaining a licence for access to carry out structural works at the Grade II-Listed Old Town Hall on Castle Street as part of exchanging contracts early last year.

The acquisition was completed last month.

The legal work meant contractors, on behalf of developer Aestrom OTH, could access the derelict building and make it safe, after more than two decades of neglect.

Old Town Hall, which is more than 200 years old and was once used as a courthouse, will now be turned into a hotel and apartments after plans were approved by Sheffield City Council.

Tom Weightman, commercial property solicitor at Wake Smith said: “This has been a brave and significant undertaking by the developer Efe Omu to make the site safe.

“There was a strict timetable to get the legal work done and the contractors in, to make the building safe as part of the ongoing planning application. This is unusual to do it this way round and a real commitment to the building which had laid derelict for the past 23 years.

“This was the first part of transforming the site and now planning permission has been granted Efe can push on with his plans for 12 apartments and a hotel.”

Aestrom OTH says it will look to maintain many of the original features such as former cells, benches, internal fixtures and fittings as part of their plans including ‘pod’ hotel rooms and a souk market with 11 stalls, which will be open to the public.

University of Sheffield alumni, Efe Omu, said: “This building is a significant part of Sheffield’s history, and located in the heart of a rapidly evolving Castlegate quarter. We have committed significant time and effort to ensuring its future viability.

“We will make sure we preserve the building as much as we can. The detailed work we have already undertaken on this building shows how much pride we have in making sure it was not irreversibly ruined, but preserved and restored.

“We want to see this building restored and brought back into use. Wake Smith have helped us to get our plans on track.”