TitleSheffield City Council, Planning Department
AdminHistoryThe 1848 Health of Towns Act allowed boroughs to introduce building bye-laws and regulations for (mainly) sanitary purposes. The General Board of Health oversaw this process and issued model byelaws. Under the Act a plan would have to be submitted to the plans sub-committee of the borough for approval. Plans were to be submitted for all buildings built after that date. However, Sheffield did not adopt the Act due to the potential burden on the rates. The Corporation, along with the Town Trustees, did seek to obtain similar powers through an Improvement Commission in 1851 under the Town Clauses Act of 1847, though this came to nothing.

The Local Government Act of 1858 abolished the General Board of Health. In 1864, Sheffield adopted the powers in the 1858 Act and set itself up as the Local Board of Health. It issued its byelaws in 1864 and went on to issue more detailed building regulation byelaws in 1912.

From October 1864, a plan had to be approved by the Plans Sub-Committee of the Highways Committee (see CA-####) before any building could be erected, regardless of the type of building or builder.

The byelaws issued in 1864, modelled on the model byelaws issued by the General Board of Health before its abolition in 1858, relate mainly to the size of rooms and drainage. Further byelaws were issued in 1912 which introduced wider building regulations - size of joists, damp proof courses, the thickness of walls and other structural matters. The Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, and its successors, particularly 1968 and 1971, introduced new aspects of planning as well as building regulation.

The Public Health Act of 1875 provided urban and rural district councils with similar powers. When district councils were subsumed into Sheffield by boundary extension, the plans were transferred to Sheffield planning department.

Building plans, 1864 -1925
Although many of the original plans were destroyed prior to transfer to the Archives service, there are available aperture cards of several thousand of them. These are solely approved plans, as disapproved plans were not retained by the committee nor given a plan number. All the registers of plans are available, and provide the following detail:
(a) the date of deposit of the plan;
(b) the depositor (usually the builder or architect);
(c) the owner of the proposed building;
(d) brief description of the proposed building;
(e) location (street);
(f) date of approval or disapproval.

Thus, although the plan may not now be extant in original or microfilm form, the salient details (approximate date of building, architect or builder, owner) may still be ascertained from the registers. At the front of each register is an index (by page, not plan number) of owners and locations (streets). In these registers, a red tick indicates plans for which there is a microfilm copy.

Very summary references to approved plans are recorded in the reports of the Highways Committee to Council in the printed minutes of the Council (available at Sheffield Archives ref. CA-MIN and at Local Studies ref. 352.02)

Plans for additions to buildings:
Until recently, these were filed with (and under the same number as) the plan for the original building. Consequently, when searching for a plan for additions built before 1948, it is necessary to search for the plan of the original building.

The numbering of plans:
Because of the quantity of plans, several different numerical sequences have been used:
(Registers 1 to 8) Oct 1864 - Mar 1892 Plans 1 to 10,000
(Registers 8 to 20) Mar 1892 - Feb 1907 Plans 01 to 010,000
(Registers 20 onwards ) Feb. 1907 - 1970 Plans 20,000
From 1971 the year was included in the file reference.

From c. 1997 it appears the paper register was abandoned and Excel spreadsheets used.

From 1971 planning applications were microfilmed by Planning and Design and, in most cases, the original paper plans passed to Sheffield Archives for appraisal. In the 1970s all new buildings were retained as were listed or historic buildings and major alterations. It is estimated this amounted to 9-10%. In the 1980s the following appraisal guidelines were followed:

Retain all new buildings; all industrial and commercial plans (new buildings and major alterations and additions, and major change of use); significant alterations or additions (industrial, commercial, buildings of historic or architectural interest); courtesy plans from property Services Agency or equivalent; all significant local authority buildings (including additions and alterations); public buildings (churches, mosques, public houses etc., including significant alterations and additions).

By c. 2005 appraisal guidelines had been adjusted to: new housing developments over 5 properties only, major applications, some listed buildings and some conservation areas (minor alterations and additions were generally not retained); significant alterations or new buildings of the local authority and public buildings and major changes to buildings of historic or architectural interest.

Garages, car ports, change of use, domestic alterations and additions, minor changes, advertisements and tree pruning were generally not selected for permanent preservation.

In c. 2006 it appears all plans still in the custody of the Planning Department (amounting to over 20,000) were digitised and, in most cases, transferred to Sheffield Archives for appraisal and selection.

In the light of the Planning Department's programme of digitisation, from 2014 Sheffield Archives' appraisal guidelines were further modified to enable the selection and retention, where practicable, of architects' drawings only. Routine email correspondence, reports and surveys (e.g. noise, traffic, flood risk) were not selected for permanent preservation.
Description(Acc. 1979/23 and 27)
Building licence plans 1971

(Acc. 1995/91)
Sheffield Telegraphic building plans previously in Building Byelaws series, 1913

(Acc. 2008/62)
British Coal Corporation application for planning permission for the extraction of coal in the Tinsley Park area of Sheffield (sites 'A' and 'B'), 1989. Includes various copy maps showing geological information and the proposed pattern of working.
Date1887 - 2013
Extentc. 14,000 items
RelatedMaterialSheffield City Council, Registers of Plans, 1964 - 1971 (CA205)

Sheffield City Council, Registers of planning applications 1948 - 1977 (CA 773).

Minutes of Sheffield City Council: Plans Sub-Committee (later Development Plans Sub-Committee), May 1951 - Mar 1974 (CA-PSC/1-29).

Minutes of Sheffield City Council: Planning and Transportation (formerly Environment and Planning Programme, formerly Environmental Planning, formerly Town Planning) Committee, May 1986 - Apr 1991 (Includes minutes of the North, South East and South West sub-committees) (CA-PAT/1-47).

Minutes of Sheffield City Council: Planning and Economic Development (formerly the Planning and Transportation) Programme Committee, May 1991 - May 1993 (CA-PED/1-18).

Minutes of Sheffield City Council: Plans Sub (previously Plan and Office Sub, later Development Plans Sub, Plans Sub, later North, South-East and South-West) and Town Planning (later Environmental Planning, later Environment and Planning, later Planning and Transportation) Committees, May 1874 - Mar 1990 (CA-PTP/1-97).

Minutes of the Highways and Sewerage Committee, Sep 1864 - May 1968 (CA-HWY).

Draft minutes of the Town Planning Committee, Aug 1944 - May 1951 (CA-TPC).

Draft minutes of the Town Planning Committee and Plans Sub-Committee, Jun 1951 - Jun 1971 (CA 646/35-53).

Minutes of the Town Planning Committee (printed and signed, without schedules), Aug 1944 - Mar 1974 (CA 137/38-40).

Manuscript minutes of the Town Planning Sub-Committee, May 1910 - Jan 1921 (CA 530/38).

Draft minutes of the Plans Sub-Committee, Nov 1947 - May 1951 (duplicate minutes but with some annotations) (CA 184).
Minutes of the Highways and Sewerage Committee, Works Sub-Committee, Town Planning Sub-Committee, Town Planning Committee (from 1946), Special and Visiting Sub-Committee (from 1935), Jan 1934 - Oct 1965 (CA 475/1-16).

Minutes of the Environmental Planning Committee, Sep 1973 - Apr 1986 (CA-EPC/1-17).

Chesterfield Rural District Council:

Plans, 1933 - 1967 (CA519)

Norton Urban District Council:

Norton Rural District Council was absorbed into Sheffield in 1933.

Registers of Plans, 1885 - 1934 (CA207 and CA214)

Plans, 1885 - 1934 (CA208)

Handsworth Urban District Council:

Handsworth Urban District Council was absorbed into Sheffield in 1921.

Registers of Plans, 1899 - 1921 (CA209 and CA214)

Plans, 1899 - 1921 (CA210)


Part of Tinsley was transferred from Rotherham Rural District Council to Sheffield in 1911.

Registers of Plans, 1896 - 1911 (CA214)

Plans, 1896 - 1911 (CA211)


Hillsborough was absorbed into Sheffield in 1900.

Registers of Plans, 1877 - 1902 (CA467)

Plans, c. 1877 - 1902 (CA212)

North East Division:

This comprised the Wincobank area added to Sheffield in 1900.

Registers of Plans, 1878 - 1901 (CA467)

Plans, c. 1878 - 1901 (CA213)

Wortley Rural District Council

Wortley Rural District Council was abolished in 1974. Ecclesfield and Bradfield came into Sheffield and Tankersley and Wortley want into Barnsley

Registers of Plans, 1881 - 1936 (CA676)

(Acc. 2015/72)
Item 9. Hyde Park flats, Block C, 1990. Architect's drawings only. [No planning file number identified.]
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