New Sheffield park moves a step closer, but more parkland being sold to pay for it

The old Wisewood Secondary School site, where a new park is set to be created
The old Wisewood Secondary School site, where a new park is set to be created
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A long-awaited new park on the site of a former secondary school in Sheffield has moved a step closer - with more parkland being sold to pay for its creation.

Sheffield Council agreed back in 2013 to sell developers a portion of Spider Park, on the borders of Wadsley and Wisewood, to help pay for a new park just up the road at what was Wisewood Secondary School.

These plans for the new park at the former Wisewood Secondary School site were drawn up in 2013

These plans for the new park at the former Wisewood Secondary School site were drawn up in 2013

It has now approved plans to sell an extra parcel of land within Spider Park so, it says, the quality of housing and the impact on the surrounding area can be more 'sympathetic'.

The additional land for housing in Spider Park, off Sevenfields Lane, amounts to just over a third of an acre - around the size of five tennis courts.

The council says Spider Park is poorly used and the new park will be much better located for people living in Wadsley, Wisewood and surrounding areas.

The land swap was approved back in 2013, two years after the secondary school in Rural Lane closed.

Spider Park, off Sevenfields Lane, where some of the land is to be sold for housing

Spider Park, off Sevenfields Lane, where some of the land is to be sold for housing

A preferred bidder was chosen by the council, but that developer later said it could only proceed on the basis additional land was included.

Cabinet members last Wednesday (March 15) approved the inclusion of that extra land, paving the way for the developer to submit a planning application.

The sale of the land will enable the new park's creation, with payments known as section 106 contributions from the developer set to help fund the construction and maintenance of a playground there.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for parks and leisure at Sheffield Council, said: "I'm thrilled that, after a considerable period of time, this land swap can take place and a new park created where it is much-needed."

The planned playground at the new park will complement the neighbouring Wisewood Sports Centre, floodlit football pitches and the café and recreational hub at the old school library, which is run by the RIVA Project.

The council says it will help address the shortage of children's play facilities in the area.

Detailed plans for the new park have yet to be drawn up, but proposals from 2013 included a zip wire, bike and scooter track, climbing boulders and a ball games area.

The extra land at Spider Park will accommodate an extension to Sevenfields Lane and a pedestrian route through the site.

The council says the new homes will provide 'natural surveillance' over the remaining parkland and make the path between Dial House Road and Sevenfields Lane safer to use.

Margaret Young, Chair of the Wisewood, Wadsley and Loxley TARA (Tenants and Residents Association), said: "We are very pleased that the project is moving forward and we are very much looking forward to seeing the playground completed as it is just what the Wisewood area needs. The residents of Wisewood have been waiting a long time for this."

Hillsborough ward councillor Josie Paszek said the new playground would be a 'major asset' for local families.