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Council admits pub was demolished in error

An historic pub in Sheffield was demolished despite a promise to campaigners to pause work, the city council has admitted.

The Market Tavern was due to be knocked down in January, but the council agreed a temporary halt with the campaign groups hoping to save it.

The council initially said it had collapsed due to its fragility, but has now confirmed contractors were told in "error" to resume demolition work.

The authority apologised for previously giving inaccurate information and said it had launched an investigation.

The pub, which was one of the city's oldest, closed in 2006 and has been deteriorating since then.

Work to remove asbestos from the site last year resulted in the council finding its chimneys were structurally unstable, prompting the initial decision to tear the building down.

Hallamshire Historic Buildings and heritage charity SAVE fought against the proposal, with the latter offering to fund a new structural assessment.

The council agreed on 9 January to pause the demolition until at least midday the following day at a meeting with the groups.

A council spokesperson said the initial belief was that the top turret on the building collapsed under its own weight on 10 January.

“New information has since come to light which shows the demolition company were instructed in error at 11:53 GMT to continue with demolition," they added.

Ben Miskell, chair of Sheffield's transport, regeneration and climate committee said the decision to demolish the pub had not been "taken lightly".

"Throughout the process I have been keen that partners are kept fully informed.

"I am disappointed that this does not appear to have been the case and people have been provided with inaccurate information.

"We will be writing to partners to apologise and will be launching an internal investigation to understand exactly what went wrong."