Land News

House Plan could transform suburb

Sheffield Today, 7th August, 2004

A Sheffield community could change dramatically if plans to build 91 homes on an industrial site are granted permission.

Bloor Homes wants to build the town houses and apartments on the Speedwell Reinforcements site at White Lane, near Station Road, in Chapeltown.

Speedwell reprocesses steel wire and employs 70 people, a significant number of them women. The company wants to relocate to another site in north Sheffield so that it can improve its facilities and its productivity.

In a report to planners, Bloor says it was approached by Speedwell about the possibility of getting planning consent for the site. That would allow to company to relocate to an alternative site in Chapeltown or Ecclesfield.

The Bloor report says: "We believe reinvesting in this site for housing is the only viable way of funding the relocation of Speedwell to secure its future and those of its steel- based workforce.

"No alternative site has been secured but a number have been considered.

"An offer was made for the Stanley Tools site in Ecclesfield and this site remains of interest."

The report adds: "This will also enable the environmental clean up of a contaminated former railway siding and generally make new homes in a very sustainable location."

The site is two-and-a-half hectares with a group of industrial buildings and car parking. It is surrounded by a steep embankment with woodland.

Bloor says the woodland will need to be maintained, and it suggests setting up a management committee owned by future residents.

But Sheffield Hillsborough MP Helen Jackson is concerned about the plan and is meeting with senior planners.

She said: "I am urging planners to refuse any future developments in that area until they have taken action to sort out the congestion and the traffic problems around Station Road.

"The whole of Chapeltown is changing with new jobs and hundreds of new homes.

"It's a fast growing area, both industrially and residentially, and they have got to sort out the traffic and public transport."

The proposal also poses another predicament for planners, as the site is classed as Green Belt.

A planning officer said: "We will need to look at what effect almost 100 new houses will have, and whether it will cause more problems than having works there.

"We also have to look at the Green Belt aspect and whether we can accept a residential development in principal.

"We need to decide if Speedwell has exceptional circumstances to warrant us going against policy."

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