LONG-RUNNING plans for a big housing estate in the Upper Don Valley are expected to move another step closer next week.
Developers were given the go-ahead in principle five years ago for homes on the site of the former R G Stein Brickworks on the edge of Deepcar, off Manchester Road.
Now details of the scale, design and layout of a proposed development of 341 houses and apartments are in line for city council approval on Tuesday.
Even so, there are still obstacles for Bloor Homes to overcome, including the proposed landscaping, a proposed bridge over the River Don into the estate and the relocation of a Yorkshire Water treatment works.
The brickworks was cleared in the late 1980s, and work has started on decontamination and making the ground stable for housing.
Initially, 400 homes were planned, and concerns were expressed that too many properties would be crammed on to the site, too much extra traffic would be generated on the man road through the valley, schools, doctors and other services in the Deepcar and Stocksbridge area would be overwhelmed and wildlife in Wharncliffe Woods would be harmed.
Stocksbridge Town Council said Bloor Homes should be asked to help finance a tram or passenger train service for the benefit of residents and to take some of the pressure off the roads.
Meanwhile, the Council for the Protection of Rural England pressed for the housing development to reflect the character of the area more by incorporating natural gritstone and slate roofs, increasing the amount of green space and having extensive tree planting.
However, with outline approval already granted, the city council is turning to the details of the appearance of the estate, specifically addressing complaints that it would have a standard design of the type that can be seen anywhere in the country.
A council report says: “While acknowledging that the applicant is a volume housebuilder, using standard house types, it is still necessary to ensure that the development is of a high quality and respects and enhances the distinctive features of the city, its districts and neighbourhoods.”
Officers accept the proposed use of red brick and generally believe the estate will have its own character.
“It is concluded that the layout and design of the proposed development does create an attractive, safe and comfortable place to live that also sufficiently reflects local character both within the neighbourhood and the wider city, and incorporates houses that are designed to the appropriate scale.”
Councillors are being recommended by officers to approve details of an estate comprising 164 four-bedroom and 155 three-bedroom houses and 16 two bedroom and six one bedroom apartments.