Controversial housing plans take a step forward

Controversial plans to build hundreds of new homes on a wildlife haven took a step forward this week.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 13:30 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 14:11 pm
How the Avant Homes at Owlthorpe Fields could look

A planning application has been submitted to build 72 homes and create an access road at Owlthorpe Fields, off Moorthorpe Way.

Up to 500 homes are planned for the site, which Sheffield Council says has been earmarked for housing since the 1960s.

But 1,000 residents have signed a petition against the idea, saying a wildlife haven will be destroyed, there will be an increase in traffic and overdevelopment in an already built-up area.

Avant Homes has submitted the first planning application and says: “The realisation of this masterplan is yet to be fulfilled with the site representing a serviced parcel of land with the highway running directly through it and the Owlthorpe Surgery sitting in an isolated location.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The majority of the Mosborough Townships took almost 20 years to complete, with some progress made with the construction of Halfway, Westfield and Waterthorpe by the late 1970s.

“Infilling of remaining areas continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s including the Moorthorpe Rise development, the first phase of wider site/allocation to which this application relates, which appears detached from the surrounding area.

“As such, it is considered that the site is a logical location for new housing development within Sheffield.

“The ancient woodland and surrounding network of footpaths can be used as an attractive landscape setting for new houses. Site access can be taken off the new road extending from the roundabout/Moorthorpe Gate.

“A high-quality residential scheme which creates a new, contemporary feel to the south east of Sheffield can be created. A balanced mix of housing can be delivered including an increased number of affordable houses.”

But Owlthorpe Fields Action Group is urging local residents to object. The plans attracted seven objections within a couple of days.

One resident said: “Traffic in the area is already a complete nightmare, not to mention the fact that this area has been left to regrow and flourish since the road and housing was originally put in place. Various species of wildlife and plant life can now be found in the valley and it seems almost criminal to interrupt this after a decade of quietness in the area.”

Another added: “These fields are a place for relaxation, exercise and very importantly to me, a huge habitat for wildlife like owls, kestrels, green woodpeckers, buzzards, garden birds and bats. To remove all of those trees to make room for houses would have a huge impact on the quality of the air and all of the ecosystem.

“It is completely unacceptable to be so destructive considering the current state of our climate, to remove so much green land for the sake of 72 houses. I do not believe there is not adequate housing elsewhere, or other sites to build upon if really needed.”

A third resident added: “This is an overdevelopment. As a regular tram user the nearby tram is already at capacity at some times of the day. This development would push it over the edge.

“The new section of road will not be enough to compensate for extra traffic movements created by the developments and schools and GP surgeries are already at full capacity.”

The planning application can be viewed here: https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=PWWI2FNYLV700