The council refused major controversial plans to demolish an 18th century barn and farmhouse at Wiggan Farm, 30 Towngate Road, Worrall, to make way for up to 67 new homes in 2020 saying the development would result in the loss of heritage assets which would be harmful to the character of the local area and the nearby Grade II listed buildings.
The developer sought to resolve the key issues with the council but it was forced to resubmit original plans, saying they were left with no other choice following a mix up by the council.
After raising the issue with the authority and highlighting that swift action needed to be taken, Robin Hughes, of Hallamshire Historic Buildings and who is also a local resident, was assured that the council understood the urgency of the situation and it would resolve it.
But more than two months later the buildings – which were among the first to be nominated for the Local Heritage List which the council recently gave its full support to – are still under threat.
He said: “The only visible action by the council has been to agree an extension of time for determination until 29th April. That date is almost upon us. This is a major and controversial development, already refused once by the planning committee, and the council’s own guidance is that such decisions cannot be delegated. However, the last opportunity for the committee to consider the application before the deadline was on 12th April, and it did not do so.
“It now looks inevitable that the developer will appeal for non-determination. It is likely that in view of the council’s behaviour, the planning inspectorate would allow such an appeal. The result is almost certain to be the unnecessary and avoidable loss of historic buildings, and residents being denied the chance to make representations to elected members about the building of a large number of houses with a substantial impact to their village.”
He urged council leaders to take immediate and urgent action, promise that councillors will make the decision and it will not be delegated to officers, commit to its statutory duties to protect heritage and carry out a full public consultation if a revised development is proposed.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal was due to respond to the question during the co-operative executive meeting but made apologies and offered to talk with Mr Hughes later that day.
There are more than 90 comments on the resubmitted plans from the public, almost all of which are objections raising various concerns including about heritage and road safety.
To view the resubmitted plans in full or comment, visit the application on the council’s planning portal here: https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=R2CUTYNYMM300