Sheffield Council 'reluctantly' approves huge 430 homes plan

Sheffield Council has approved a 430-home development – but councillors were divided in their opinions of the plans.

By Molly Williams
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 1:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 10:53 am

Bloor Homes will now be able to push on with work to transform a brownfield site in Deepcar into a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom properties with new roads, a minewater treatment facility, open spaces and a balancing pond to help control flood water.

The 16-hectare plot of land was once used for mining and industrial purposes.

In the council's first virtual planning meeting, all but one committee member backed the plans, with one voting against.

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Bloor Homes want to build the development at Deepcar, to the east of the River Don and south west of Station Road, on a 16 hectare plot of land that was once used for mining and industrial purposes.

Plans were already approved in 2016, but returned to the council after changes were made.

Although some councillors welcomed the plans, others raised concerns about the lack of a community hub, no affordable housing and a footbridge over a river into ancient woodland being scrapped.

Coun Andrew Sangar said: “I will be reluctantly supporting this, we have to make the best of what is in front of us.

“For those of us who don't want to build on the greenbelt, we have to accept we are going to have to compromise when it comes to building on brownfield sites, particularly former industrial, contaminated sites like this.

“The developer has put a lot of investment into clearing the site, but I am frustrated at the lack of a community hub and children's playground.

“I don't think the design of the houses is anything brilliant, but we have to see it in the round and we do need more housing in Sheffield.”

Coun Peter Price said: “I’m disappointed about the loss of the footbridge, we call ourselves the Outdoor City, but something that would encourage people to go out over the river and explore the countryside has been taken away and now I'm not sure about this.

“I don't think it would make that big an impact, just to allow access for people living there and cyclists to get across the river and into the woods.”

Before the meeting, 14 different groups and individuals wrote to the council with issues relating to the changes, including the Upper Don Trail Trust, Don Valley Railway Group, Miriam Cates MP, Stocksbridge Town Council, the Woodland Trust and the Green Party.

But some of those issues were since resolved with the developer.

Eamonn Ward, of the Green Party, said: “We welcome the inclusion of a three-metre-wide active travel path alongside the estate plus space for the rail halt, with room for a bus turning circle.

“These were vital for the viability of Upper Don Trail and Don Valley Railway projects which can transform travel between Stocksbridge and the city centre.

“This application revisited permission granted previously and it's disappointing to see active travel and rail campaigners having to keep fighting the same battles.

“The climate emergency and coronavirus travel crisis underline a need for the council to spell this message out to all developers seeking planning permission in the Upper Don Valley along this route: ‘Your applications must include the minimum requirements for the Upper Don Trail and Don Valley Railway projects to be delivered or they will be refused’. Sheffield really needs these projects.”

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