About Changing Sheff: who we are & what we do
Who are we at Changing Sheff?
Changing Sheff is a vibrant volunteer group, working to improve Sheffield's city centre. We work primarily on the area inside the ring road, with the aim to make the centre the best that we can. But we can't do it alone. The more people that support us the better.
We strive to foster a sense of community and provide a forum for people who live, work and play in Sheffield to raise issues affecting life there and create change. We have a range of ideas that we hope will encourage you to become involved - eg: our plan for Fountain Square Musical Pocket Park - Click HERE for details. Contact us if you're interested in helping.
What we do - some of our initiatives:
We have brought together the great and the good to explain relevant issues and take questions at our monthly meetings. These include people that shape our City Centre from the council, police, support agencies, health services, university staff and estate managers, to name a few.
We initiated the Help-us-Help programme in 2014 to coordinate the activities of all agencies involved with the street community - rough sleepers, those begging and the homeless. We continue to be involved on the steering committee.
We attend city centre Council and Police liaison meetings and give the residents’ views.
We provide the local newspapers with residents' views on topics of city centre relevance on a regular basis.
We organised a key seminar to discuss city centre health facilities - successfully helping to prevent closure of the Walk-in Clinic and relocation of A&E from Hallamshire Hospital (close to the city centre) to Northern General Hospital (3 miles from city centre) for 22,000 city centre residents
We have proposed pedestrianisation of Division Street in two schemes:
Pedestrianisation between Westfield Terrace and Rockingham Street was accepted and a temporary scheme is in place at June 2020
Our proposal to widen the pavement and create one-way traffic westwards outside Simmonites, Café Nero and 200 Degrees, between Cambridge Street and Carver Street, is with the Council in June 2020. No response to this suggestion so far!
Life through the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown has shown the importance of having outside space where people can relax and enjoy what modest good weather we get in sunny Sheffield. The proposed replacement to the Primark building at Castle Square is a 38-storey skyscraper block shoe-horned onto a small site which has no external space for any of the 206 apartments.
In our experience as city dwellers, that is totally unsuitable for modern living. There should be a balcony for every apartment or open green space adjacent to, or on top of the property, for the exclusive use of its residents.
We urged the Council to reject this planning application and adopt the rule of applying the same outdoor space principle to the design of all tall city centre residential buildings. See our letter to Sheffield Telegraph HERE
We're pressing for the 20mph speed limit in the city centre to be enforced with speed cameras, traffic calming measures or pedestrian priorities, as it is being frequently ignored, leading to higher pollution levels and danger for pedestrians
The Council is charged with cutting air pollution in the city centre. One of the easiest ways to support this aim is to ENFORCE the 20mph speed limit. No success with this so far....
We are seeking Council clarification on the availability of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds to pay for community benefit city centre projects. CIL is raised from new building schemes, of which there are many taking place in our centre....but we have not seen any funds made available yet
We believe that 25,000 people living in the centre should have a stronger voice with the city council, which has little interest in city centre residential matters.
It fails to understand city centre living
There are no controls over noise pollution - eg: Emptying commercial waste bins in the middle of the night below high-rise apartment buildings and wakening residents
Middle of the night closing for pubs in the vicinity of high-rise and other residential buildings is not acceptable.
As the population grows to 35,000, the Council needs a strategy to enable the commercial and residential needs to co-exist. There is no sign of this happening currently.
We support South Yorkshire Police Community Policing principles and work with the police to pass on relevant community issues.
We support the Business Improvement District concept and the important work BID is doing to improve the appearance and attractiveness of the city centre.
We proposed a Musical Pocket Park for introduction to Fountain Precinct park in 2020, but it was prevented by coronavirus. it has been accepted by the Council and work is proposed to start in late 2022
We attend when necessary city centre planning meetings, licensing meetings and business meetings arranged by various bodies.
We successfully objected to the High-Rise proposal for a Charles Street-Norfolk Street building that would block light from Victorian apartments in St Paul's Chambers, Berona House and the Waterhouse Building. This would destroy the living conditions for many people, to meet the demands of a commercial developer that would not construct to the traditional building height
We stopped early morning collections of bottles from pubs and clubs that disturbed residents
We held the Inside Out festival in the Winter Garden in conjunction with Sheffield Rotary Club to showcase the many community activities that are held in the city centre
We made the case that, when the Council moved the Glossop Road bus-gate camera enforcement in 2017 from Gell Street to Regent Street, it cut off 200 metres of commercial and residential property, causing in two years a loss of £2 million local revenue and 70 jobs.
The Council has steadfastly refused - without giving any justification or reasons - to even consider our several alternatives to return this to its previous arrangement.
Our proposals would make local access possible without impacting public transport and we continue to contest this foolish scheme and the Council's refusal to consider solutions.
We, along with the University of Sheffield, persuaded the Council to improve the inadequate 2017 signage around the revised Glossop Road tram-gate to provide more clarity for the public. But it's still a pig's breakfast of a scheme that severely damages the local economy.
We have lobbied strongly to get a Cumulative Impact Policy for the West St-Devonshire Green area to control the number of local off-licences and reduce overnight access to alcohol. Unsuccessfully so far.
We believe that the Council's planning policy is weak. For example:
Covid -19 lock-down has demonstrated the importance of outside space, which is limited for people in apartment buildings. Every new apartment building should be mandated to have either a balcony per unit or a large shared outdoor communal area.
Climate change will create warmer and wetter weather. On post-war buildings there were canopies along frontages to provide a covered walkway. None of the new buildings have this important feature. Lack of forethought by planning chiefs. Covered outdoor space is essential.
Norfolk Row is a classic example of the potential for a covered alleyway. Its individual leaseholders won't do it. The Council should step in to make it happen.
We believe that ALL apartment buildings that are operated by a management company should be mandated to have on the outside of the building, in a clearly visible public location, the name and contact details of that management company.
This is because there can be issues of public concern such as unsightly or dangerous storage on balconies that can be seen externally, bins blocking pavements or skips left outside until overflowing - which should be reported to the building managers for action. We are proposing this principle to Sheffield City Council.
From our experience living here we feel that the City Centre should be a priority zone for pedestrians, not for traffic. Inside the ring road it is a 20mph zone, but many motorists ignore this and drive as if they were on open roads.
Fitzwilliam Street is a Formula One racing straight, with the aim of beating the traffic lights at top or bottom ...and going through even if they are red when getting there.
Around Cambridge Street and Division Street there is conflict between cars and pedestrians.
We believe there should be speed reduction measures in several places, such as Fitzwilliam Street; plus pedestrian priority measures in others, such as around Barkers Pool and Haymarket.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your own suggestions to make the city centre an even better place to live.
What was SCCRAG?
SCCRAG was our previous name and stands for Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group. While we are now known as ChangingSheff, SCCRAG has been an important part of our history since 2012. We changed the name to ChangingSheff in 2019, because that's what we aim to do - Change Sheffield City Centre to make it better for all the people who use it.
We have been working for 8 years assisting to make improvements to Sheffield and bringing together anyone who has an interest in the vibrancy of our centre. We are city centre residents who believe strongly in the potential for a modern, vibrant, exciting hub where the current population of over 22,000 can grow by 50% within ten years and bring lively facilities to attract everyone in to enjoy. You don't have to be a resident to get involved - just keen to help Change Sheff into an exciting place to enjoy.
Our Chair is Peter Sephton, our secretary is Dave Hussey-Yeo; they and the ChangingSheff committee can be contacted through the enquiry form HERE on the website Home Page.
Our Constitution is shown at the bottom of this page.
Who is this website for?
Anyone interested in making Sheffield the best it can be! If you have any ideas and want a say, email us, or come to one of our meetings! If you have an idea, or something to say, we want to hear it.
You may be a resident, owner of a business, visitor, it doesn't matter. Anyone with an interest in maximising the benefits of Sheffield City Centre, whether they live there or come from outside is welcome.
What are the objectives of Changing Sheff?
Why take part in what we are doing?
Would you like it if Sheffield can succeed?:
• To bring together all parties that have an interest in keeping the City Centre vibrant, clean, well-designed, safe and enjoyable for the 20,000+ people who reside in Sheffield City Centre, within the ring road.
• To improve all aspects of City Centre life through education, debate and discussion.
• To create an acceptable balance between the needs of residents, businesses and the night-time economy so that all who live in, or use the City Centre, can enjoy its benefits.
• To collect and disseminate information of use to residents and to provide advice for residents who require assistance with an issue relating to living in the City Centre: for example, noise regulations, cleaning controls, litter regulations, graffiti and apartment block management.
• To present the views of the group to appropriate bodies when action needs to be taken to improve an aspect of life in the City Centre. This may include the need to lobby, campaign or otherwise influence such bodies.
What do you think? HAVE YOUR SAY TOO!