Fresh homes plan needed

Artist's impression of new homes at Vale Croft, Parson Cross, to be built by MJ Gleeson
Artist's impression of new homes at Vale Croft, Parson Cross, to be built by MJ Gleeson
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Sheffield Council needs to find more land suitable for future housing developments – after being told the current number of sites earmarked was not ‘anywhere near enough’.

In an attempt to solve a national housing shortage, the Government is calling on local authorities across the country to identify enough land for potential new homes, following changes to national planning policies.

Councils need to offer a five-year supply of ‘deliverable housing sites’ and find enough land for the next 20 years through a Local Plan.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development at Sheffield Council, said green belt land could be put at risk if more suitable areas are not identified.

“We have spoken to the Planning Inspectorate and he has been clear that our current allocation of sites does not go anywhere near far enough.

“We need to identify even more sites for housing,” Coun Bramall said.

“This is an issue facing every local authority across the country and here in Sheffield we want to make sure we are in charge of our own destiny – put simply, if we do nothing then our entire green belt could be under threat.”

If the council turns down a planning application, an external inspector could overturn the decision and allow building work to go ahead if it is thought there are not enough potential sites.

Coun Bramall said ‘hard choices’ would need to be made but most housing land would still be brownfield.

Under the latest projections, around 100,000 new homes will be required by 2030 across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.

Work recently started to build more than 380 homes on the site of the old Sheffield College campus in Parson Cross.

“The new local plan will see us working with neighbouring authorities to meet demand,” said Coun Bramall.

A public consultation is expected to start next summer.