You can’t fault the University of Sheffield’s consultation so far on the proposed Social Sciences Building. (Telegraph July 14). Local residents had letters delivered advertising two opportunities to view the plans and ask questions. The junction of Whitham Rd and Northumberland Rd is honestly marked “potential area of conflict” on those plans. Many residents will have concerns about squeezing a building for 10,000 students and staff into this location and they need to be listened to before any planning application is submitted. BBEST, who are creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield and Tapton, are also important consultees.
The University of Sheffield has, alongside Hallam, driven Sheffield’s economy in the difficult years since the 2008 financial crisis. And we all support the need for the services provided by our NHS hospitals. But their continuing collective expansion dominates the Broomhill area. Traffic crawls up Western Bank and Whitham Rd through Broomhill Shopping Centre while hospital patients comb residential roads for parking spaces. Tinkering with road layouts won’t miraculously allow more and more traffic to flow through Broomhill or address the dangerous air quality hot spots. Many of the jams are caused by constant expansion works.
In our view another consultation is needed urgently. The Broomhill area stretching out from the hospitals has reached breaking point. Can investment be made to offer viable public transport options and safe cycle lanes to access current sites, including subsidised travel for staff? Are there outpatient services that can efficiently be moved away from the Hallamshire site? Most importantly, will the universities, hospitals and the council agree suitable sites where expansion can take place in the city and build that into the new Sheffield Plan?
Cllr Magid Magid
Broomhill & Sharrow Vale Green Party