Sheffield housing plans approved despite road controversy

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PLANS to build 116 new affordable homes and a controversial new link road are to go ahead.

Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board approved the proposals for land at Park Spring Drive, Norfolk Park.

It is one of dozens of sites across the city being redeveloped by the new Sheffield Housing Company, a corporation involving the council and private firms, to create 2,300 affordable homes for sale and rent.

The Norfolk park site was formerly occupied by a tower block and maisonettes. It was grassed over after the old properties were demolished around a decade ago.

The plans caused controversy among neighbouring residents of Park Spring Drive because of a proposed link road to East Bank Road.

Some 57 people objected to the link road, fearing it would be used as a short cut and could bring anti-social behaviour such as nuisance motorcyclists.

They also fear the link would open the area to more football parking on matchdays at Bramall Lane.

The residents said that Park Spring Drive was ‘peaceful and quiet with low crime’ because it was not linked to other areas.

Members of the planning board first considered the application three weeks ago but deferred making a decision pending a visit to the site to consider the residents’ concerns about the road.

But on reconsidering the application yesterday, they agreed with planning officers, who said the possible negative impact of the link road was outweighed by the benefits in terms of better traffic flow.

Norfolk Park residents disputed whether the road was needed because they said more houses used to stand than the number being proposed and that the roads were able to cope with residents’ cars.

In their report, planning officers said the development was a ‘well-designed and interesting scheme’, making use of an area limited by the hilly topography.