Sheffield community garden goes up for sale

A community garden that occupies a prominent site in a Sheffield suburb could be built on as an advertising company puts land up for auction.

By Richard Blackledge
Sunday, 9th February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 12:39 pm

JCDecaux is selling two sites used to display large billboards in Crookes and on Woodseats Road.

The plot in Crookes sits at the corner of Cobden View Road and Northfield Road, and includes a grassed area with plants that has been maintained for more than a decade by neighbouring residents.

Legal documents show the gardeners, including a member of St Thomas’ Church, paid a peppercorn rent to tend to the 558 sq m piece of land, which is going to auction with a guide price of £150,000.

The site at the corner of Cobden View Road and Northfield Road in Crookes. Picture: Google

A letter sent to interested parties says JCDecaux has decided to sell following a review of its portfolio.

“Please note that for corporation governance reasons, we are only able to sell property at auction and we cannot sell by private treaty,” the letter says.

Auctioneer BidX1’s property listing refers to the freehold site in Crookes as a ‘prominent corner roadside location’, adding that it ‘may be suitable for a variety of different uses and possible development, subject to obtaining any necessary consents’.

“The lot is sold as seen, and for the avoidance of doubt the seller reserves the right to remove any advertising hoardings and/or reduce the height of any hoardings which may be in situ,” a further document says.

The site on Woodseats Road, close to the junction with Abbeydale Road. Picture: Google

The Woodseats Road site, meanwhile, is close to the junction with Abbeydale Road and has a guide price of £70,000.

It is a thin, 583 sq m strip of land along the street’s eastern bank, and again BidX1 says the spot ‘may be suitable for a variety of different uses and possible development’.

Both lots are to be sold in an online auction on February 18.

JCDecaux Group prides itself on being the world’s leading outdoor advertising firm. Its British arm says it is ‘ubiquitous on the highways and high streets of the UK’.

In Sheffield the company operates two enormous towers with high-resolution video screens on the Park Square roundabout, targeting traffic heading into and out of the city centre.