Sheffield flats plan to be refused due to flood fears

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A SCHEME to build 20 new apartments in an area hit by some of the worst flooding during the 2007 disaster is set to be blocked by planning chiefs.

Sheffield Council officers are concerned land earmarked for the development, off Cowley Lane, Chapeltown, lies in one of the areas worst-affected by the deluge which left parts of the city underwater.

The site lies next to Falding Street, where all the homes were severely damaged when nearby Blackburn Brook burst its banks.

The waterway runs through the land where the flats could be built.

Officers also have concerns about the “scale, form, massing and overdeveloped nature” of the proposed three and four-storey buildings, compared with the neighbouring two-storey terraced houses.

Previous plans for flats at the site in 2008 were withdrawn due to flooding concerns - although permission for a single house was granted in 2003, which was never built.

Objections to the new apartment plans have come from Ecclesfield Parish Council, and there have also been a 49-signature petition and 35 letters submitted to Sheffield Council opposing the development.

Other issues raised by protesters include loss of privacy at neighbouring homes due to overlooking, the loss of a wildlife habitat, overdevelopment of the site and insufficient parking.

Recommending refusal at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s west and north planning board tomorrow, council planning officers said: “While development of the site would add to the supply of homes in a relatively sustainable location and the principle of development satisfies other policy criteria, other sites would satisfy this without having to resort to a site that floods.

“The arguments put forward for the development do not outweigh this.”

A separate planning application for a six and seven storey building containing 18 student flats on a site at Bedford Street, Shalesmoor, is set to be granted at the same meeting, however.

Planning officers recommend the scheme should go ahead despite four objections on the grounds of insufficient parking, increased noise, and loss of light to neighbouring sites and because the building would “not be in keeping” with those nearby.

But planning officers said a similar application, for 24 flats, was approved for the site in 2007, although the block was not built. They have also been told the building is meant to be “car free”. The developer will be asked to pay nearby £16,000 towards improvements to recreation space in the area.