Farm garage and gym plans spark huge protest

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HUNDREDS of people are objecting to plans to create an indoor golf centre, a gym, three garages and a workshop, all housed in a large outbuilding in the grounds of a farm on the edge of Sheffield.

The owner of Newfield Farm, on Newfield Lane, Dore, is applying for permission to create a 320 sq metre building bigger than the existing house, using permitted development rights which normally cover erection of garden sheds and small outbuildings.

Sheffield Council’s planning board will decide whether to grant a certificate of lawful use for the scheme at a meeting on Monday.

The council has received 39 letters of objection from residents, a 237-signature petition, and representations from the three Dore and Totley councillors, Dore Village Society, Dore Conservation Group and the Campaign to Protect Rural England against the scheme.

Arguments against granting the application are that the ‘scale, massing and design is inappropriate’.

Objectors fear the building is ‘reminiscent of a hotel or employment unit’ with ‘other intentions’.

They also say the new building is far from the house and cannot be counted as within its curtilage - so would not be permitted development.

One objection added: “Newfield Lane is a clear boundary between the city and the Peak District. This sort of development represents gradual erosion of farming land.”

Council planning officials are recommending approval because they say the plans comply with ‘relevant criteria’ for location and height.

“Activities proposed can be considered incidental to enjoyment of the dwelling,” they added.