Brian Holmshaw at the Township site
Brian Holmshaw at the Township site

Sheffield Greens have joined 800 local residents in objecting to plans for up to 300 houses in the Loxley Valley:

Heritage campaigner Brian Holmshaw, who submitted the objection, comments: “The council stated that a generic, volume housebuilder solution would not be appropriate for this site. But that’s what Patrick Properties, a purely profit driven subsidiary of private equity group company Latium Enterprises, wants to build.

18 months after a climate emergency was declared we have seen no significant council action. The council must not be building housing on high risk flood plains. It must stop granting permission for developments that bring more traffic and pollution to the residential area in and around the Malin Bridge gyratory.

The council must be resolute with consistent decision-making that ensures our city becomes future-proofed over the next decade. It must not set us adrift in a city designed by developers driven only by profit. The council must refuse this application which fails to engage with the unique considerations of this green belt site in a special setting.

We agree with the Friends of Loxley Valley that all stakeholders should engage in further dialogue to find a collaborative solution outside of the current adversarial planning system.”

Notes

  1. The planning application reference is 20/01301/OUT. The deadline for public comments was July 30th.
  2. The applicants Patrick Properties are a subsidiary company of Latium Enterprises, a private equity group with headquarters in both the UK and USA. Patrick Properties bought the site from Bovis Homes in August 2018 for just under £1.6 million.
  3. The full text of the objection submitted by Brian Holmshaw is:
    “Brian Holmshaw objecting for Sheffield Green Party. We support the case for refusal outlined by many local residents, Friends of the Loxley Valley, The Peak District Park Authority and other stakeholders. We object to the use of an outline planning application which the council should not have to consider after clearly indicating that a full application was appropriate. In this basic outline application, the developers look to avoid future council and public scrutiny in seeking an easier route via “reserved matters” once outline permission is achieved.Clear choices for the council emerged in the December 2018 Hepworth site stakeholder workshop. Will the council stick to the requirements they outlined – “a full planning application that specifically addresses the problems of sustainability, and so that all the unique considerations of the site can be fully considered”. Or cave in to the alternative that was outlined – “a generic, volume housebuilder solution that would not be appropriate.”

    This is a non conforming green belt site on a flood plain, parts of which are classified as high risk for flooding. Torrential rain last November brought the site to the brink of flooding while in 2007 parts of the site were under several feet of flood water. All climate indicators suggest the UK faces increasingly frequent severe weather events with massively increased flood risk. A council that has declared a climate emergency must not be building housing on high risk flood plains.

    The quoted site clean up costs are likely to result in expensive houses with the applicants very likely to claim unprofitability to justify severely limiting or avoiding the provision of affordable housing. Sheffield desperately needs affordable housing but developers continually try and wriggle out of providing it or paying for it to be built elsewhere. There is nothing in the application to indicate that houses will be built to the standards needed, including suitable insulation, in a development likely to be completed close to 2030. Sheffield is pledged to be a zero net carbon city by 2030.

    This is clearly going to be a high end development with many 2 car families. Suggestions that many people will walk to local shops and amenities are simply false. Active travel will be very limited in this remote location – few would brave the narrow bridge, steep zig zag, pavement free, Spout Lane to access Stannington Village.

    Everything points to a lot more vehicles heading up and down Loxley Rd to join the growing queues into the Malin Bridge gyratory – a standing traffic air pollution hot spot. The health of local residents, including those whose children walk to Forge Valley School from the Wisewood estate, is not being protected. At a single planning meeting in January, a Lidl store was approved at the bottom of Stannington Rd plus a retail park opposite Hillsborough football ground with an Aldi. The council must stop granting permission for developments that bring more traffic and pollution to the residential area in and around the Malin Bridge gyratory.

    Now is a vital time for the city. More than a year after a climate emergency was declared we have seen no significant council action. The council must be resolute with consistent decision making that ensures our city becomes future-proofed over the next decade. It must not set us adrift in a city designed by developers driven only by profit.

    The council must refuse this application which fails to engage with the unique considerations of this green belt site in a special setting. We agree with the Friends of Loxley Valley that all stakeholders should engage in further dialogue to find a collaborative solution outside of the current adversarial planning system.”

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