Residents miss out on huge cash bonus

The former Dial House Club site at Wisewood
The former Dial House Club site at Wisewood
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A Sheffield community lost out on tens of thousands of pounds because of a Government inspector.

Back in 2006, a Government appointed planning inspector agreed the former Dial House Club at Wisewood could be converted into apartments.

Normally, developers are asked to contribute cash towards community projects when they receive planning permission - known as a Section 106 order. The money can be spent on anything to benefit the community, including green spaces, parks or safer roads.

But Dial House Club, on Ben Lane, ended up going to a public inquiry in front of an inspector and when he granted planning permission, he never attached a Section 106 - meaning the community lost out on potentially tens of thousands of pounds.

It came to light when Hillsborough councillor Josie Paszek raised it at a recent planning meeting. Earlier this month, developers were given permission to build another three homes and three flats on the site - and this time the community will get some cash.

More than £53,000 will be invested in the new Spider Park but it prompted Coun Paszek to remind councillors that the community has missed out with the original planning permission.

Rob Murfin, chief planning officer at Sheffield Council, told The Star: “We are delighted that local residents in Wadsley and Wisewood can look forward to a new Spider Park as a result of a new planning application.

“The final decision on a previous and rejected application for the former Dial House Club was made by a central government appointed planning inspector.

“Inspectors have complete discretion to attach planning conditions or Section 106 requirements as they see fit. In this instance the inspector clearly did not consider that a Section 106 funding was necessary to justify his decision.”

Hillsborough councillor Bob Johnson said it was a shame the community had missed out on Section 106 money first time around but this latest cash would be a boost.

He said: “It was regrettable that the planning inspector didn’t see fit to make this condition on the original planning permission.

“The money would probably have been spent on local parks because there is a lack of green open spaces in this area.

“But there is light at the end of the tunnel as we have secured some Section 106 money with the latest development on the site. Hopefully this will be an end to the sad situation and we will have a good outcome with this latest money.”

History of Dial House Club

2004

The owners of the club, Bar 24, fail to get permission to build 44 apartments on the site. More than 1,200 people object and Sheffield Council rejects the plans

May 2005

Bar 24 warns the club is “financially unviable” despite protests from the committee

June 2005

Bar 24 announces it is closing the club because it’s operating at a loss - denied by the committee

March 2006

The club burns down. Part of the listed building and old concert room are razed to the ground

September 2006

Developers go to appeal with their apartment plans and a public inquiry is held.

Planning inspector Paul Griffiths rules against the council and the community and approves the plans The council is judged to have “behaved unreasonably” and has to pay costs

February 2011

Local residents complain the site has been left derelict for years

2013

Campbell Homes open 33 apartments at the newly developed Dial House Court

April 2018

Councillors approve plans for a further three homes and three flats and this time impose a Section 106 for £53,000