Badger tunnels key to Sheffield flat development green light

The restaurant is due to close in July 2018
The restaurant is due to close in July 2018
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Builders will have to install special escape tunnels for badgers if plans to build more than 50 homes on the site of a former Sheffield banqueting suite get the go-ahead.

Baldwins Omega, in Brincliffe, is set to close in July, when owners David and Pauline Baldwin retire.


Outline plans to demolish the restaurant and build 52 flats on the land were approved in February last year, but the full proposal is set to be debated by Sheffield City Council next week.


Conditions imposed by council planners include the installation of bridges and pipes to ensure no badgers become trapped in construction trenches, along with the installation of bird and bat boxes to accommodate wildlife at the Brincliffe Hill site.


“A condition is being proposed that would ensure badgers are suitably protected during the construction phase and this includes creating escape ramps from any trenches or excavations that may be created,” the planning report into the application states.


There is one badger set on the outskirts of the site, with evidence of wider foraging activity. 


Developers will also be prevented from removing hedgerows, trees and shrubs between March 1 and August 31 so as not to interfere with birds nesting, if recommendations are followed.


Additionally, no phase of development will be allowed to commence before details of how affected trees at the location have been approved, and two cliff faces which border the site will need to be pinned and netted to allow construction to safely take place.


There are also proposals for sturdy fences above the cliffs, to prevent cars owned by future occupiers crashing onto homes situated below.
However, councillors and residents have objected to the development, saying that it would be detrimental to other homes in the area, and put extra strain on an already busy junction.


Nether Edge and Sharrow Ward Councillor Mahammad Maroof objected to the proposal, saying that the “site is ill served through a narrow opening onto an already busy junction where three roads meet and which are used separately by the occupants of two existing blocks of flats and a number of private residences.”


Meanwhile Councillor Alison Teal, who also represents Nether Edge and Sharrow, also objected on road safety grounds, adding that “ the proposal is likely to affect the quality of life of surrounding residents.”


Other issues raised by residents include lack of parking, an increase in traffic from similar developments nearby, highways not being equipped to deal with the volume of traffic, and an increase in street parking impacting on emergency vehicles in the area.


The main access to the site would be via Chelsea Court, while Brincliffe Hill would only be used for emergency vehicles.
The proposal, which is recommended for conditional approval, will be debated by Sheffield City Council’s planning and highways committee on Tuesday, April 10.