Green belt homes agreed

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PLANS to build 67 new homes on a derelict former Sheffield college site have been approved despite objections from 110 residents.

Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board gave outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the old Loxley College site, off Wood Lane, Stannington, which has been disused since the college moved to Hillsborough in 2005.

Residents objected because the site is on green belt land and they want the whole site to be dedicated for recreation and sports activities.

They said new homes would create extra traffic and the number of houses would overdevelop the site.

Sheffield College, which made the application, agreed to reduce the number of houses from 71 originally proposed to 67, which the planning board found acceptable.

Sheffield Council officers said that although the land was green belt, the current state of the site was ‘detrimental’ to the green belt.

They advised councillors making the decision that although the reduced number of homes was still ‘a little high’, ovcerall the scheme would make a ‘positive contribution to the area’.

Under the proposals, the upper part of the site close to Wood Lane would be redeveloped as housing, while existing playing fields on the lower area would be retained and improved.

The decision to grant outline permission was criticised by Stannington councillor and former Sheffield Council deputy leader, Coun David Baker, who said: “A lot of local residents are worried this will set a dangerous precedent for building on green belt.”

Jason Pepper, executive director of finance and resources at Sheffield College, said: “We are keen to move forward and transform this derelict site after years of uncertainty.

“The empty building has been a local eyesore within the green belt and, at times, a target of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“Hillsborough College opened in 2005 to replace the Loxley site and provide the community with modern and high quality facilities and courses.

“It was a condition of securing government funding, that the money gained from selling Loxley would contribute towards the loan for developing Hillsborough.”