Final chapter in chequered history of old school site

An old school site which has had a chequered history will be put up for sale.

By Lucy Ashton
Tuesday, 06 August, 2019, 12:57
The old Hemsworth school site

The former Hemsworth School site, on the corner of Blackstock Road and Constable Road at Gleadless Valley, has been declared surplus to requirements by Sheffield Council.

The school was demolished in 2005 and since then the site has been the subject of a number of failed developments.

In 2002 Cabinet earmarked it for extra care housing along with the Abbeydale School site.

At the time Hemsworth School was still open, though due to amalgamate with Herdings school to become Valley Park.

A report says: “A tendering exercise only yielded bids that did not match the expectations of the Cabinet approval.

“In 2004 an alternative approach to the delivery of extra care housing schemes at Abbeydale and Hemsworth was approved by Cabinet.”

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The council re-marketed the sites so that any developments would incorporate part commercial and part social housing and placed covenants to limit their use to extra care housing.

The council found a partner but it was unable to deliver the schemes within the agreed financial deal. The sites went out to tender again but no suitable bids were received.

In 2006, the Abbeydale site was sold and the council looked for tenders just for the Hemsworth site.

A year later, Cabinet decided the site should be sold to the Extra Care Charitable Trust for development.

The report adds: “The disposal did not however proceed due to the downturn in the housing market. Since then, the site has remained as open space used for public recreation. It has been marketed twice for general housing.”

In 2014 the council found a developer but the sale halted when the developer changed its strategy. Further marketing resulted in an offer the council considered “unattractive”.