Solar farm on the cards for old mining site in Sheffield countryside

A famous mining site on Sheffield's outskirts could become a solar farm, under proposals being considered by the new owners.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 10:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:50 am
The land in question before the old mine head wheel shaft was removed

The land off Hollin Busk Lane, in Deepcar, was known for the mine head wheel shaft which became a familiar sight for motorists and was used as the Deepcar Brass Band logo.

Alarm bells rung when the feature disappeared suddenly earlier this year, with one historian demanding the restoration of what he described as an 'iconic part of the valley's heritage'.

The scene after the old mine head wheel shaft was removed earlier this year

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The owners have now outlined their plans and asked local residents for their views.

A leaflet distributed to nearby homes describes the four-acre plot as a 'blot on the landscape' which has become a magnet for fly-tipping and vandalism.

Its authors say that following the death of the former owner they were asked to 'bring the site into shape and create a use for it'.

They acknowledge the 'considerable local interest' in the wheel, which they say is being restored so it can be placed at the entrance to the site.

The old mine head wheel shaft, which the owners say is being restored so it can be returned to the site

The leaflet outlines various potential uses for the land, including the creation of up to four homes on the footprint of the old stables and greenhouse there.

A farm with livestock, a donkey sanctuary with a tea shop and fishing, and a solar farm with panels facing uphill are among the other options set out.

The land is currently designated as green belt, restricting development there, but the leaflet suggests it could be reclassified as 'open space' to enable housing on the old stables site.

"What is clear is that the site has to pay its way in life and not lie idle and open to vandalism and unwanted squatters," the leaflet states.

The scene after the old mine head wheel shaft was removed earlier this year

No name or contact details are given for the owners, with residents asked to return a form giving their views to a post box on the corner of the road.

The site lies opposite a 16-acre plot near Royd Farm where 150 people wrote to oppose plans for up to 93 homes on what is currently grazing land.

John Hesketh, chairman of the Upper Don Action Group, said: "We find it odd that a would-be developer is seeking community support for a housing scheme opposite the site of a current planning battle over the Royd Farm 'village'. It's most worrying, as this area needs less development, not more.

"This new development site lies between Hollin Busk Lane and Cockshot Lane. It's in the green belt and very close to the Peak District National Park. UDAG will be opposing this latest planning proposal as it would chip away at our green belt."

The old mine head wheel shaft, which the owners say is being restored so it can be returned to the site