Moves to allay flooding fears at paper mill homes scheme

A drawing showing how the Oughtibridge Mill development could look

A drawing showing how the Oughtibridge Mill development could look

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Proposals to build hundreds of homes on the site of an old paper mill in Sheffield have taken a step forward.

An outline planning application has been submitted for around 320 homes at Oughtibridge Mill.

The development could include a mix of two to five bedroom homes in a range of types, from two-bedroom apartments and houses to five-bedroom detached properties. A ‘denser scheme of apartments’, up to four storeys in height, is proposed next to Langsett Road North.

Existing woodland around the site would be kept, and two new bridges over the River Don, which runs through the site, would be built - one for cars, and the other solely for cyclists and pedestrians.

The developer, Commercial Estates Group, intends to leave 10 per cent of the land as publicly accessible open space.

The mill closed in 2014, and the 110-acre plot is currently home to 350,000 sq ft of empty warehouses, industrial buildings and offices.

The site - on the edge of the Green Belt - straddles the Sheffield and Barnsley council areas, but the planning application will mainly be dealt with by Sheffield Council.

Close attention has been paid to the risk of flooding, given the site’s closeness to the river. Paper production stopped at the mill in 2007 because of the devastating floods that year. But in a planning statement, CEG said studies showed there were ‘no alternative sites in lower flood risk zones’ which would offer such a ‘unique and site-specific opportunity’.

The company has consulted with the Environment Agency on measures including raising ground floor levels so the chances of homes flooding in a single year would be one in 1,000.

“This will ensure that the development is safe from flood risk and that risk will not be increased for the lifetime of the development,” said CEG.

“The site provides an exciting opportunity to create a high-quality residential development in a landscaped woodland and riverside setting.”

If the outline plans are approved, more detailed designs would then be drawn up.

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