Plans for new retirement apartments in busy Sheffield suburb prompt objections from residents and councillors

Residents and local councillors are concerned about new retirement apartments planned in Sheffield because of flooding and the environment.

Developers want to build 14 two-bed apartments with 14 parking spaces on land between 5 and 21 Holmhirst Road at Woodseats.

Self Architects, on behalf of the developers, say a planning application was approved in 2012 but there was Japanese Knotweed on the site, which had to be eradicated before any construction work could take place.

Removing it took several years by which time the approval had lapsed. The developers say this application is almost exactly the same as the previous one, with some minor amendments.

Residents and councillors have opposed plans to build 14 two-bed apartments at Holmhirst Road at Woodseats

But 17 residents have objected, along with Graves Park ward councillors Ian Auckland, Sue Auckland and Steve Ayris.

The councillors say the loss of the local wildlife site is unacceptable without significant compensation.

A joint objection says: “The site has historically provided both ecological and public health benefits to the local community and since 2004 has formed part of the Graves Park Beck Local Wildlife Site corridor linking scarce biodiverse green spaces in this urban area.

“The site’s previous use as a shared community garden for vegetable growing still holds relevance in the current active interest in food self-sufficiency locally and across the city and in green social prescribing and for improving health and mental wellbeing through connecting with nature.

“Our caseload from local residents frequently includes incidences of heavy rainfall run-off falling from upstream on to the west side of Chesterfield Road, including into the Holmhirst Road site. We believe this has been understated.”

Developers say there will be considerable areas of landscaping and a number of mature trees will be retained.

“The positioning of the building acknowledges the presence of the culvert running through it. Taking into account the depth of the culvert and that the levels at the lower part of the site will be lifted, it would not be viable to open up the culvert.

“Trees around the perimeter of the site have been maintained wherever possible and new planting in a woodland meadow setting is proposed.”

Planning officers are considering the application.