Campaigners are on the verge of chalking up another victory over controversial plans to redevelop a nursing home and build new houses on the edge of a Sheffield park.
Developers want to convert the former Brincliffe Towers old people’s home, on Brincliffe Edge Road, into a large new property, as well as building six new houses on the site close to Chelsea Park in Nether Edge.
But planning officers have recommended the application is refused next week, citing concerns over the height of three of the new houses, the size of an extension to Brincliffe Towers’ coach house - needed to form three new mews properties - and the impact on nearby trees.
A ‘more sympathetic form of development’ is needed, a report to planning committee members says. Last year proposals to refurbish Brincliffe Towers and create four detached family homes in the gardens were withdrawn following concerns raised by scores of objectors.
The new plans, designed by architect Haxton Koyander on behalf of owner Singh Sall, attracted 35 objections from residents. Nether Edge ward Labour Councillor Nikki Bond is also opposed to the scheme, as are the Banner Cross and Nether Edge Neighbourhood Groups, while the Sheffield Wildlife Trust also has concerns.
The application proposes demolishing a 1950s extension, converting the old nursing home into a single house, building three new homes with double garages and converting the site’s coach house into three mews properties.
In the report, officers say they accept developing the site provided an opportunity to ‘remove unsympathetic 1950s additions and restore key unlisted historic buildings’.
“However, the proposed three new build houses are considered to result in a poor relationship with the large-scale Victorian villa due to their scale, appearance and elevation above the roof line of the villa. A more sensitive form of development is required that would allow the villa to remain the dominant feature.
“This can be achieved through an alternative design approach.” Officers acknowledge ‘some tree removals will be needed’, but add that the layout of the new homes and a planned car park behind the coach house are likely to lead to the ‘decline, subsequent removal or pruning’ of trees, which would harm the look and setting of Chelsea Park. An avenue of historic lime trees would be particularly at risk.
“There would likely be future pressure for the removal or significant pruning of trees within the gardens of the new-build houses,” the report says.
Concerns about an increase in traffic and the potential for safety hazards along Brincliffe Edge Road were also raised by residents. But officers say: “It would be difficult to justify removing the application on highway safety grounds.”
Councillors will vote at a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday.