Why the sky’s the limit for this new housing estate

As Richard Hawley’s new musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge plays at the Crucible, the real life estate is set to go from strength to strength.

By Lucy Ashton
Thursday, 14 March, 2019, 06:56
Artist's impression of the new Skye Edge Avenue development

Councillors have finally approved plans for 113 new homes on land between Skye Edge Road and Skye Edge Avenue after a compromise with developers.

Residents had been unhappy at plans by developers Placefirst to install gated car parking areas, which they said would cut off the new estate to existing residents.

Placefirst has now abandoned the gates and both it and residents say they hope the new homes be a welcome addition to the existing community.

Patricia Parker has lived at Skye Edge since it was built in 1978. She told the planning board: “I have lived here 41 years and and over those years we have had two major disruptions. In 1987 £6.2m was spent on Skye Edge and we all had to be decamped for ten to 12 months and that disrupted the community.

“We got back to normal then in 2004 they decided the maisonettes on this land had to be pulled down as it was more cost effective so again the community was disrupted.

“This new development is really welcomed because it’s a chance to build the community back up and put Skye Edge back to where it was a few years ago but by making parking restrictions it’s going to divide the community again and we don’t want that. We want to all use the same facilities and be integrated.”

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James Liverland, on behalf of Placefirst, said the parking gates wouldn’t be added now. “We are not the traditional developer who builds, sells, then moves on, we remain rooted in the community. We have agreed to remove the gates in response to residents and councillors.

“We have been working with Sheffield Council on this for over a year and from the outset we shared an aspiration for a new public promenade making best use of the great views. We are also delivering new children’s play areas, public landscaped greens, seating areas and informal events space for all residents. We also have a public arts strategy inspired by the industrial legacy of the rivers of the city.

“This has the potential to be a flagship regeneration scheme which we can all take pride in. We are commiting to a huge investment in the city and a rapid development of the scheme in as little as 24 months.”

Councillors unanimously voted in favour of the plans. Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs welcomed the removal of the gates: “Increased lighting and visibility and having people keeping an eye on things make a community safe. Gated communities don’t work as they are not integrated. If this estate is not segregated, it will build up community cohesion for the future.”

Skye Edge has been the inspiration for creative people in the city. Richard Hawley and Sheffield writer Chris Bush have created the new musical while poet Sally Goldsmith wrote a play about the neighbourhood in collaboration with local residents.