Campaigners release map of green areas under threat in Sheffield
New maps, showing large areas of Sheffield’s countryside which have been targeted for housing, have been released by countryside campaigners.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England has released the maps ahead of the long-delayed Local Plan, a blueprint for how the city will be developed over the next 15 years.
The 300-page Local Plan will detail how Sheffield Council plans to develop the city between now and 2034. The council expects it will need to create 43,000 new homes and of crucial importance will be whether any Green Belt sites will be built on.
Andrew Wood, consultant planning officer at CPRE South Yorkshire, accused the council of delaying the publication of the plan for political reasons.
“The Local Plan will not be released before the May local elections because of the political sensitivity.
“We’ve waited far too long for these plans. Communities deserve to know what will happen to their local countryside, sooner rather than later.”
The CPRE says up to 11,000 new homes could be built in the Sheffield Green Belt, affecting communities all around the city, from Burncross to Stannington, Fulwood to Dore and Norton to Beighton.
It says Dore and Totley are at “high risk of sites being dominated by executive homes that don’t address need and inequalities” while “Fulwood and Lodge Moor are very likely to have big impacts on landscape.”
Loxley and Worrall are described as “remote locations where public transport is poor and landscape is sensitive” and Stocksbridge is “remote unless tram trains go ahead”.
It adds that “openness within and between neighbourhoods in Ridgeway and Mosborough may be harmed” and in Handsworth and Woodhouse communities’ access to open space may be affected.
The maps also warns that Chapeltown and High Green ‘may merge” with Ecclesfield and also that Ecclesfield, Grenoside and Parson Cross “may all merge together”.
CPRE acknowledges that new homes are vital but argues that existing plans risk too many unaffordable homes being built in unsustainable, greenfield locations.
Mr Wood added: “The focus must be on affordable homes in sustainable locations. Releasing large areas of the greenbelt will not provide houses for those who need them most and will undermine Sheffield’s well-deserved reputation as the Outdoor City.
“While Sheffield has always had a good record of delivering brownfield housing, in recent years the provision of affordable housing has fallen significantly as developers seek to avoid vital social obligations.”
Sheffield Council says a thorough public consultation will be held once the Local Plan is published.
Earlier this month CPRE released its annual report on national brownfield land availability which showed huge potential for homes to be provided without the need to sacrifice the best of local countryside around cities.