Up to 320 homes will be built on a factory site in the Green Belt after plans were approved.
The decision to allow the redevelopment of the old Oughtibridge Mill site, off Langsett Road North in Oughtibridge, Sheffield, was made despite objections from residents and environmental campaigners.
Sheffield councillors added a condition requiring the developer to pay more than £5 million towards affordable housing in the area.
A more detailed ‘reserved matters’ plan must be approved before work can begin.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England said the scheme did not fit into the council’s vision for the Upper Don Valley and said that the land was being ‘wasted on unsustainable development’.
Steve McBurney, head of planning at developer Commercial Estates Group, said: “This will enable the regeneration of this former industrial mill site, delivering up to 320 much-needed homes, opening up public access to this attractive waterside and woodland setting and providing new walks, cycle paths and open spaces in a sustainable way.”
The developer previously moved to allay fears over flooding from the nearby River Don, saying the chances of homes flooding in a single year would be one in 1,000.
In a report to councillors ahead of this week’s meeting, planning officers said the housing estate would not have a significant impact on road safety and would ‘improve the open character of the Green Belt’.
They said the loss of employment land to make way for housing was not a problem, as it was ‘not identified as being within a strategic location for manufacturing, distribution and warehousing uses’.
Officers acknowledged the development would mean the loss of a ‘high number’ of trees, some of which ‘contribute significantly to the landscape character of the area’.
But they said they were ‘satisfied that the loss of these trees can be justified in order to bring the site forward’ and the area would ‘still continue to benefit from good tree coverage, which would be bolstered by the addition of a new woodland tree buffer along its northwestern road boundary to Main Road/Langsett Road North’.
Andrew Wood, planning officer for the South Yorkshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “We’re disappointed that this scheme is going ahead without fitting into the vision that Sheffield Council is working on for the future of the Upper Don Valley.
“This is one of a few brownfield sites in the valley and it should not be wasted on unsustainable development.
“The council should now crack on with their masterplan for the public transport and local services the area needs if it’s to support new housing.
“But we’re pleased the council is holding firm on requiring the developer to contribute to affordable housing, as that’s one of the most pressing issues for this part of Sheffield.”
Oughtibridge Mill closed for good in 2014.
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