The protection was hard won

David Gill's letter about dereliction and development in the Loxley Valley, (Suburbanisation is creeping up the valley, The Star, April 6), mentions that Stannington and the Rivelin Valley seem to be protected areas. Those with a long memory will know that protection was hard won.

Thursday, 12th April 2018, 7:15 am
Updated Thursday, 12th April 2018, 7:16 am
The Acorn estate in Stannington.

Sheffield in the 1960s was literally a ‘City on the Move’ as the council sought land to house its growing population. In the mid-1960s, the council wanted to takeover a wedge of Wortley along the Stannington ridge, planning to build towards Dungworth and build along both sides of the Rivelin Valley.

A well-orchestrated protest campaign sprang up and fought Sheffield Council. After a public enquiry, the inspector decided that the council was to be restricted to building upon the Rivelin Valley side and building was to be allowed only as far west as Long Lane - the Hall Park estate with all its strengths and weaknesses is the result.

On the Loxley side of Stannington some housing development was allowed but only in the Acorn Hill/Nook Lane cliff top area and then only as far west as Spout Lane. The houses built by Longdens (I believe) had to be made of stone - artificial reconstituted stone was not allowed - though I believe there were attempts later to lower standards which were turned down.

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My late mother, Florence Bramall, was an active member of that protest campaign and she was one of many who fought long and hard to help keep Rivelin, Stannington and Loxley protected from housing development. Sadly for those who lived in and loved the rural nature of the Mosborough area, Sheffield ‘City on the Move’, turned its ‘overspill housing eye’ in that direction and took over that area and built many thousands of houses there.

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Incidentally my father, Charles, worked all his life at Thos. Wragg’s casting pit refractory brickworks at Loxley. He’ll be turning in his grave at the sight of the dereliction of the once busy Old Wheel Works and the adjacent Marshalls and Carblox works but I also know he’d be glad to see that no one has to work as hard as he did in the dusty, hot environment. And as someone who worked at nearby Dyson’s making bricks for a few years I can confirm it was really hard work but it was also a great place to work as the community spirit within the local refractory brickworks was something special as I’m sure many ex-employees will confirm.

RJ Bramall

Bingham Park Crescent, Sheffield, S11