New apartment block near Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens approved despite objections

Councillors approved plans for a new block of apartments with several sustainable features just a short walk from one of Sheffield’s most popular parks.

By Molly Williams, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 10:00 am

The planning and highways committee voted to give a green light to a proposal to demolish a building at 15-17 Brocco Bank, near Botanical Gardens, and build a four-storey block of eight apartments in its place.

Apartments will be a mix of two and three beds and will be accompanied by an underground car park, cycle storage space, electric car charging points, solar panels, shared gardens and tree and hedge planting.

The current building on the site comprises 12 studios and was previously a pair of semi-detached houses dating back to the 1880s.

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Botanical Gardens.

Councillor Roger Davison, member of the committee who voted in favour of the plans, said: “I was very impressed, I must admit. I’m normally reluctant to see a very old building of that kind being demolished but to recycle it and in fact if that adds to the carbon neutrality we are seeking, I think that is a very good scheme and I’m going to vote for it.”

Councillor Peter Garbutt, another member of the committee who voted for the plans, added: “I do welcome this and I will be voting for it but I think I have reservations in the sense that having studied this sort of thing for a very long time now I’m fairly skeptical about some of the things said but I will be taking up the offer of going and following how it works out.

“I really hope the claims they are making are going to be substantiated but I will be voting for it and I welcome it.”

Ahead of the meeting, there were 29 objections to the plans including from Endcliffe Corner Community Organisation and councillor Brian Holmshaw, on behalf of the Broomhill and Sharrow Vale Green Party.

Concerns raised included that it would be an unnecessary demolition, an overdevelopment, not in keeping with the area, cause highway safety issues, increase noise and air pollution and that the homes should be more affordable.

But a council officer recommended it for approval and in a report said: “The pursuit of sustainable development is the overriding aim of national planning policy, and this site is within the main urban area, with the proposal being at an appropriate density.

“The proposal features a wide range of sustainable features, including green roof, SUD’s, Solar PV, air source heat pumps, high levels of thermal insulation to the building and electric car charging points.

“The design of the proposal has been amended to show a building of appropriate scale and massing, featuring high quality materials within a well fenestrated building featuring appropriate hierarchy, traditional bays and finer detailing.

“In addition, large stores are proposed for each unit providing ample secure cycle parking.

“The proposal will not impact on the amenity and living conditions of existing adjoining in terms of overlooking or overbearing with a good level of amenity afforded to future residents.”