Sheffield Council’s work to bring derelict and forgotten buildings back into use has won national acclaim.
The authority can use planning enforcement powers to make property owners redevelop eyesore ‘stuck sites’.
These powers have recently been used to transform a run-down former Methodist chapel, the site of a derelict working man’s club and a Grade II-listed industrial works.
Three housing schemes have also been built and occupied with the help of council action.
And the stuck site work has this week won the council a place on the shortlist for the housing delivery category of the Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Planning Excellence.
The Grey to Green scheme in West Bar has also been shortlisted in the category for creating economically successful places category.
The council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and planning Mazher Iqbal said: “Our planning enforcement team has taken a proactive role to help unlock sites across the city for redevelopment.
“The results across the city are impressive and have created new distinctive homes for our residents.
“The team has worked constructively with landowners to convince them of the need for proper maintenance and of the housing potential of their sites.”
Among the projects that caught judges’ eyes was the refurbishment of the former Ebenezer Chapel in Shalesmoor, which has been turned from a derelict shell into 11 apartments in the Kelham Island conservation area.
Council planners served a notice requiring the building to be re-roofed and made wind and watertight, before advising the owners on the new development.
The team also worked on the site of the former Foundry Working Men’s Club in Beaumont Road North, Manor, which had become a target for anti-social behaviour, vandalism and arson after its closure.
The building was knocked down in 2012, and landowner Coppen Estates was forced to pay the demolition bill.
The site is opposite housing and the council said removing the building had a ‘huge, positive impact on the quality of life in the area’.
And a third scheme which caught judges’ attention was work to transform the Grade II-listed former Lion Works in Spital Hill, Sheffield.
The council said it was ‘holding back the regeneration’ of the area, but with money from the Government’s new homes bonus the council carried out major re-roofing, internal bracing and associated works necessary to make the building wind and watertight.
Coun Iqbal said: “The stuck sites programme is prepared to look at any buildings or sites that are not being properly maintained and are causing problems to see if we can use planning enforcement powers to help.
“I’d also like to highlight planning’s role in the award-winning Grey To Green scheme.”