Property developers urged to rethink plans for 350 new homes on derelict Sheffield factory site

Countryside campaigners are urging property developers to rethink plans to build up to 350 new homes on a derelict site in Sheffield’s Green Belt.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 3:46 pm
Work has started on demolishing the Old Hepworth Refactory in the Loxley Valley

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says building homes on the Hepworth’s ‘brickworks’ site in the Loxley Valley would create an isolated village and an unsustainable enclave, forcing people to use cars.

Developers Patrick Properties has announced plans to build a sustainable new community on the long-abandoned factory site along the River Loxley, less than half a mile from Sheffield’s border with the Peak District National Park.

They say it is the only way of funding a clean-up of derelict refractory works that were abandoned by Hepworths in the early 1990s.

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But the CPRE is urging the developers to scale down the plans, so that they are more in keeping with a sensitive site and less dependent on car journeys.

“Patrick Properties asked for residents’ views, now we encourage them to listen to them and to heed their concerns,” said Andy Tickle, head of campaigns at CPRE South Yorkshire.

He added: “This large new housing estate would fundamentally change the character of the Loxley Valley for the worse.

“While the proposals could improve some aspects of the site itself, the wider impacts on local communities and the National Park have been either under-estimated or ignored.”

Dr Tickle said there were some welcome features to the draft scheme, including fast broadband workspace, extensive tree planting and enhanced rights of way alongside the River Loxley, but he feared many crucial issues would not be covered in the application.

“So far there is little commitment to ensuring the development is climate-friendly,” he said.

“We’re also concerned that the development will be very car dependent and few measures have been proposed to alleviate traffic impacts in the valley and beyond.”

The CPRE has been in discussions with Patrick Properties and Sheffield Council about the site for over a year. It has stressed throughout that an outline planning application, where much of the final detail is omitted, is unacceptable.

Pre-application consultation will last until January 8 and can be viewed here.

An outline planning application will then be submitted to the council.