While reading The Star, Monday, February 15, I happened upon an article entitled Fire service’s new start and on reading the article was slightly perplexed as to the position of the new fire station which was said to be on the Sheffield Parkway.
As I and most local people will be conversant with most buildings old or new on the Parkway I was at a loss to in fact recognise where this new building could be situated, then it dawned exactly which building was meant and of course it was the horrendously ugly Fire Station which has been erected in Bowden Houstead woodland’s green field site.
Is the idea which the article attempts to implant into our minds, in fact one that says this is not detrimental to our woodland? If this is so, it is so far from the mark.
Having walked around the site since completion, there is absolutely no way that the building adds to it’s surroundings and rather it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb, I ask you, bright red doors in ancient woodland, and please don’t say that all fire stations have doors this colour when the Fire Station behind the new market down Sheffield’s Moor has grey doors.
Also two or so ponds have been dug into the surrounding field, for what purpose escapes me, but what I have seen is that these ponds are fed in part through a pipe from the access road in front of the station which in turn feeds into the next pond via another pipe and is then discharged through a further pipe which is laid into the woodland and then flows into a small ravine which carries this overspill downhill and on into the Car Brook which runs through the woodland and then on through Attercliffe and eventually into the River Don.
The quite obvious concern here is that any pollutants from the site, be they diesel, oil, petrol, or perhaps chemical foams etc. are carried directly off the site and into the woodland and then onward which is quite obviously not good for either the local people, children, their pets, wildlife, or for the flora and fauna which inhabits the woodland.
When we have heavy rain the ravine flows quite rapidly with run off water from the woodland, and I have personally filmed flow from the pond’s pipes running into it.
Having been present at the planning committee meeting when approval was granted for this project, I will always remember a comment in justification of their approval vote, from a person on said committee, and I quote, (I never vote to give approval to any development on green belt land easily, but we have to remember that they even build Fire Stations on green belt land in the Lake District), on hearing this my reaction was Lake District, brown field sites, very few, green belt vast supply. On the other hand Sheffield and in particular this side of the city, brown field extremely abundant, green belt few. Could this have been one of those situations where if you find yourself in a hole it is wise to stop digging?
Obviously it goes without saying that we all owe a great debt to the gentlemen who work on the front line in the Fire Service, and they are in no way responsible for this impasse, but certainly the people in charge within South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, who took the decision to reject any of the available brown sites must take full responsibility for this mess we are suffering.