Sheffield Green Party sets out vision for Sheffield Local Plan
Ahead of a council scrutiny meeting to discuss progress with the long-delayed Local Plan, Sheffield Green Party has unveiled its views for the future of city planning. The response was submitted to the council’s formal consultation on planning.
- A “compact city” within 30 minutes walk from the city centre – where it is more convenient to walk than to drive, and easiest to cycle
- New housing areas between Kelham Island and Hillfoot Bridge; the Wicker to Norfolk Bridge; Queen’s Road to Heeley Bottom
- Better use of land must not mean lower standards: new housing must be good housing – big enough, warm enough and affordable to run, so people have decent places to live and work.
- Designs for new housing must include shops, services and open green space; and be carbon-neutral
- Opening of waterfronts and restoring moorland to soak up excess rainwater
- Protecting the Green Belt
- Better public engagement
- Supporting good developers with a long-term commitment to the city and better enforcement against bad ones
- Where proposals do not meet standards, we should not be afraid to refuse them
Douglas Johnson, Green Councillor for City Ward, said,
“Cities are uniquely placed to respond to climate change – good planning decisions can literally save the world. Commuting to work is bad for climate change, air pollution, people’s health and productivity– so we support more, good quality housing close to the city centre where people can both live and work.”
Brian Holmshaw, Green Party candidate for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale ward is raising the question of tiny apartments with the scrutiny committee, saying,
“In one recent local planning application, “substandard living conditions” were not considered to be grounds for refusal. In another application for “student residential accommodation,” the developer defended tiny room sizes as not being intended for “long-term student occupation.” This is not acceptable for the wellbeing of current or future residents.
“Why have Sheffield City Council never put minimum space standards for housing in place and are they going to do it now?”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Scrutiny Committee meets on Tuesday 19th January 2021 at 4.30pm. Agenda here: http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=7747
The Sheffield Green View is available at: https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2021/01/18/sheffield-green-view-2020/. The introduction states:
- The Climate Emergency has utterly altered the way we need to see city growth and infrastructure. Cities are uniquely placed to help us respond to climate change. With a concentration of population, cities’ buildings, energy and transport account for 62% of the UK’s carbon emissions.
- Sheffield Green Party aims to identify Sheffield City Council policies that will tackle the climate emergency; raise the standards of design, development and quality of life of Sheffield people; improve health and job opportunities; and provide homes which are accessible and more affordable. We agree with the statement in the consultative document for the Emerging Sheffield Plan 2020 that we believe in homes that are fit to live in – in an environment that is fit to work in – for many decades to come.
- Consequently, Sheffield Green Party wants to see every council policy and decision make a contribution to tackling the climate emergency, including the objective of the city reducing carbon usage as early as possible. Plans and policies should be carbon-audited so that the zero-carbon target by 2030 can be achieved and subsequent carbon targets can also be reached.
- Sheffield Green Party recognises the need for new infrastructure, housing, industrial and commercial land, and social facilities in local communities. Traditionally, this has meant increasing work-to-home travel time by expanding the geographical extent of the city. This is dangerous, because it worsens carbon emissions and health inequalities. Instead we believe Sheffield should concentrate less on growing its geography; and instead create more locally and neighbourhood-based economic, social and cultural networks.
- Urban planning balances many competing interests, not least those of property against those of society. Better community engagement in planning and development issues will mitigate tension and conflict when balancing social, economic and environmental concerns relating to development.
- We recognise there is a balance to be struck in ensuring that good standards of future sustainability and climate change-related considerations do not prevent development happening at all. However, we want to encourage developers with a long-term commitment to the city. We are aware that some developers will threaten to take their business elsewhere: if so, that is not a reason to foist substandard housing on future generations. Where proposals do not meet important standards, we should not be afraid to refuse them.
Read the full document at: https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2021/01/18/sheffield-green-view-2020/