In the early 80s I once heard it nicknamed “A lofty Sheffield Slag-Heap”.
In those days it was a haven for budding moto-cross riders, and it was the home of the Parkwood Aces Cycle Speedway track.
By the end of the 80s the landscape of Parkwood Springs was transformed into a state-of-the-art ski centre, the topographic layout of the area lending itself perfectly to the new venture.
People flocked to the site..... All was good.
Today, approaching two years since the huge fire that claimed the main chalet building, the site of Parkwood Springs and Sheffield Ski-Village shows the scars of everything that is wrong with this once great city.
Neglect, crime, vandalism, and apparent abandonment by the authorities.
Since the fire, the whole site has been mercilessly broken into, vandalised, and totally destroyed.
Recently an application for planning permission has been lodged to construct 40 houses there categorising it as “affordable housing”.
Is this is the right solution for Parkwood’s future?
Access to Parkwood is via a narrow road beneath the railway bridge at the foot of Vale Road.
If housing was given the go-ahead, the area must be made accessible.
Parkwood Springs was once full of terrace houses until the early ’70s. It also had amenities like a post office, convenience shops, a bus service, and (some would say most importantly), a public house.
All of that was demolished with the houses, so nowadays Parkwood is out on a limb.
Such infrastructure isn’t easily achieved again without significant investment.
So what is the realistic future for Parkwood Springs?
Some time ago Steve Peat, the world champion mountain bike rider stated that he wanted to expand the existing mountain bike trails up there and work with the council to make this a reality.
The unsightly council tip gathering height must surely be closed and the remains of the Ski Village site require clearing as this is a magnet for unscrupulous activities.
Landscaping would erase the tragedy of the ski village’s untimely ending.
After that could the mountain bike trails become reality?
The council must act before it’s too late.