Divisive Sheffield campsite plan set for approval

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Controversial plans to create a caravan and camping site for tourists would ‘bring new life’ to a Sheffield village, the applicant says.

Proposals to change the use of grazing land on Woodhead Road, Grenoside, are recommended for approval by Sheffield Council planners next Tuesday - despite it being on green-belt land.

A report said there were ‘very special circumstances’ to approve the scheme now it has been scaled back to allow 31 touring caravans rather than 70.

The plans have split opinion among local villagers, businesspeople and organisations, with 111 letters in total received about the application.

Concerns raised include the effect on ‘peaceful ambience’, extra traffic being a hazard, development in the green belt, and the effect on the nearby environment including wildlife and a nature reserve.

The Ramblers Association has raised concerns and Sheffield Wildlife Trust is seeking clarity on various issues.

But pub and shop owners have backed the application - saying it will improve tourist facilities and create employment opportunities - and some residents are also in favour of the idea’s leisure benefits.

Welcome to Yorkshire is also offering its full support.

Mark Boulby, landowner at the Little Intake Farm, said he was hoping for approval in order to offer facilities for the Tour de France in July.

He said: “Just about every local business has written a letter of support - they think it’s a good idea to get more people using the facilities.

“It will bring new life to the village - there are times it’s like a ghost town.

“What’s wrong with people camping in Sheffield rather than going to the Peak District?

“It is a mile from the nearest house.

“All these points that have been brought up, we have taken action on most, like moving the campsite away from a historic wood.

“We have worked with the council to meet all of the criteria.”

The report said there was a lack of camping and caravan facilities in Sheffield, with only one nearby at Rivelin.

Benefits to the rural economy and a limited impact on the green belt meant the special circumstances were met, the document adds.