Planning inquiry into controversial township in picturesque Sheffield valley begins

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Dozens of people tuned in to watch the opening of a planning inquiry investigating whether controversial plans for a township of up to 300 new homes in a picturesque part of Sheffield should be allowed.

Councillors unanimously refused the plans for the development at Hepworth’s refractory site in the Loxley valley in a meeting last year.

There were more than 900 objections to the plans including from the Friends of the Loxley Valley; Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam; Gill Furniss, MP for Hillsborough and Brightside; Loxley Valley Design Group; Peak District National Park; Sheffield Climate Alliance; South Yorkshire Wildlife Trust; the Campaign to Protect Rural England and local councillors.

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There were also more than 200 letters of support including from Bradfield Village Fellowship Cricket Club.

The meeting.The meeting.
The meeting.

Developers Patrick Properties appealed the council’s decision to reject the plans.

Martin Whitehead was appointed by the secretary of state to hear the appeal, which began today.

He said there will be three sessions a day, two in the morning and one in the afternoon, each lasting around an hour and a half. The whole inquiry is expected to last around 10 days.

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Chris Katkowski QC is representing the appellant and Guy Williams is representing Sheffield Council.

Also involved in the inquiry is Andy Tickle, who will be speaking on behalf of the Rule 6 party which comprises of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Friends of Loxley Valley.

All three gave opening statements today.

The first virtual meeting also heard from several others including Ms Blake, Robin Hughes of Hallamshire Historic Buildings, parish and city councillor Penny Baker and local residents.

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