Former Sheffield park could be transformed into new ‘co-housing’ development

A new ‘co-housing’ development with more than 20 eco-homes could be built on an old Sheffield park.
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Spider Park at Sevenfields Lane in Wisewood could be replaced with 11 terraced houses and 11 flats, plus a central meeting hub called the Common House.

The scheme would include five three-bed houses, six two-bed houses, a block of two two-bed flats and a block of nine one and two-bed flats.

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A new co-housing development with more than 20 new homes could be built on the former Spider Park at WisewoodA new co-housing development with more than 20 new homes could be built on the former Spider Park at Wisewood
A new co-housing development with more than 20 new homes could be built on the former Spider Park at Wisewood

The site backs on to the rear gardens in Sevenfields Court, Hallowmoor Road, Dial House Road and Owlings Road.

Back in 2013 Sheffield Council said the land was surplus to requirements and a new playground is currently being built on the old Wisewood School site to replace Spider Park.

Developers Five Rivers Cohousing and Sevenfields Developments say in an application: “The existing site is open space and facilities are very restricted with poor community value, comprising bare grassland with two small goal posts and a picnic table.

“The new park has equipment more suited to younger children, it was much needed and has been designed with local community involvement.”

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What is co-housing?

The council sold the site to a small self-build consortium that included Handsworth specialist timber supplier Oakworth Homes.

Five Rivers Cohousing had been looking for a site in Sheffield for a number of years and teamed up with Oakworth Homes to develop the scheme.

The application says: “The mission is to design and build a co-housing project where everyone has their own private dwelling but with a high degree of cooperation and shared space, costs, facilities and values and with a commitment to reduce our impact on the global climate crisis.

“The ideal is to provide units of various sizes, along with shared facilities such as a Common House with kitchen and room large enough for social and business gatherings, laundry, tools workshop, gardens, energy/heating systems, vehicles and bicycles.

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“It is to be multi-generational and multi-affordable, built to high environmental standards. It will challenge social isolation and grow community spirit, while bringing much needed new housing and helping make homes more affordable for everyone.

“Self-build house builders choose the design and layout of their home. All residents will be members of the Five Rivers Company and will be able to exercise democratic control on an equal footing.

“Regardless of tenure or length of membership, any member will be able to suggest changes and review arrangements and policies once they are part of the scheme.”

Car and bike sharing

The Common House will be maintained by the group and there will also be a community food growing area.

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Oakworth Homes will make the insulated timber frames, there will be renewable energy sources and rainwater collection. Roof panels on the common house will be used to recharge the batteries in shared electric powered cars used by residents.

The report adds: “Car sharing of any privately owned vehicles will be encouraged with a collectively-owned car pool employing electric cars. The use and sharing of bicycles, including electric bikes, with secure bike parking is also promoted.”

Planning officers are considering the application.

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