Determined campaigners want to raise £50,000 to challenge Sheffield planning inquiry ruling

Campaigners are hoping to raise up to £50,000 to stop a housing estate from being built on a Sheffield wildlife haven.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 9:58 am

Residents lost a two year battle to stop a housing estate from being built on Owlthorpe Fields at Moorthorpe Way, Crystal Peaks when a planning inspector ruled in favour of developers.

Councillors had overwhelmingly rejected the plans but Avant Homes appealed and won, clearing the way for them to build 71 properties.

Now Owlthorpe Fields Action Group is looking into the process of taking the planning inquiry decision to statutory review.

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Owlthorpe Fields Action Group is looking into the process of a statutory review

The group needs to reach an initial target of £7,000 for the case to be reviewed and up to £50,000 to take it through the full process.

Campaigners say the inspector took little account of the ecological data verified and submitted by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

They say woodland adjacent to the fields was designated as ancient prior to the inquiry but the impact on it has not been adequately assessed.

Sandra Fretwell-Smith from the group said: “Statutory reviews require considerable financial income for the legal representation required.

“The community has done us proud so far and we are buoyed by the response from them following the appeal decision.

“We feel we have a responsibility to the many people affected, who care deeply about the loss of Owlthorpe Fields.

“Both locally and across the UK the destruction of greenbelt and greenfield sites continues relentlessly, with little heed paid to the biodiversity and climate crisis we face.

“We are trying to do our bit for the climate emergency by resisting development on Owlthorpe Fields. Every green space matters. For the sake of nature, the climate, the community, and not least local democracy we will go on fighting.”

A CrowdJustice page has been created for donations. Sandra added: “We appreciate money is tight due to the effects of the pandemic but we ask that if you are able to donate please give as much as you can afford, every donation is a step closer. Without raising the necessary funding we cannot continue the fight.”

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