Popular Sheffield driving school facing closure over 'urgent health and safety issues'

Thousands of people have got behind a campaign to try and save a Sheffield driving school facing closure due to ‘urgent health and safety issues’.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 9:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 3:48 pm

Thousands of young drivers have been able to get their first taste of motoring over the years on a series of specially designed routes on the former Norton Aerodrome site at Lightwood Lane, Norton.

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But Norton Lightwood Under 17s Driver Training Area, which offers the driving lessons to 11-17 year-olds, has announced that the facility will close in September.

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A young driver at the school.

Sheffield City Council has not renewed the school’s lease amid concerns about ‘urgent health and safety issues.’

The Star understands this relates to structural and asbestos issues with some of the buildings on site.

An online petition has now been launched in a desperate bid to save the facility and more than 2000 people have signed it in a matter of days.

One of those backing the petition, Daniel Buxton, said the centre provides youngsters with a “fundamental insight” into driving and added: “Bring back Norton.”

Another called Camille Ramshaw added: “This is a popular place, well-led and managed. It makes no sense to close it down.”

Tracy Parker-knight posted: “This place is invaluable to young people.

“It’s not just a driving school, it is a place of education.”

A statement on the Norton Lightwood Facebook page said the facility “will be closing in September for under 17s driving lessons.”

Councillor Olivia Blake, cabinet member for finance and deputy leader of the council, said: “We have taken the decision not to renew the driving school’s lease which expired last week until urgent health and safety issues on site have been reviewed.

“We have no immediate plans to develop the land, which lies within the greenbelt. We will work closely with the driving school to inform them of progress but cannot renew the lease on the site until the health and safety issues have been addressed.”