College in new bid for green belt housing

ANOTHER attempt is being made to break the deadlock over a scheme to replace the derelict former Loxley College with housing.

Sheffield College, which moved out six years ago in the relocation to a new campus in Livesey Street, Hillsborough, has submitted revised proposals for the green belt site, seeking outline council permission for 74 homes.

So far the college has failed to convince the authority that the housing proposals fit in with the environmentally sensitive location .

The latest approach involves demolition of the old college to create open space and sports pitches off Myers Grove Lane. Wood Lane would be cleared for a potential development of 74 homes, including affordable housing.

It was a condition of building Hillsborough College that the money from the sale of Loxley site would contribute towards the loans for its replacement.

The college’s executive director of finance and resources, Jason Pepper, said: “We are keen to move forward and transform this derelict site after years of uncertainty.

“The empty building has been a local eyesore within the green belt and, at times, a target of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“We welcome the opportunity to make it more marketable to a future developer by applying for outline planning permission.

“If we succeeded in getting the go-ahead from Sheffield City Council, open space for the local community and wildlife would be maintained and, in addition to demolishing the building, we would also clear the site and improve the football pitches .”

In the past, the college has worked with a housing developer and has won backing from council planners, only to run into opposition from organisations such as the Loxley Valley Design Statement Group, Loxley Valley Protection Society and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Under green belt rules, special justification has to be made for development such as housing.

At one stage, an appeal was lodged with the Government after local politicians rejected plans for 79 houses and 29 apartments off Wood Lane. But the appeal was withdrawn in the hope of finding a way forward that would satisfy all sides.

Planning application: 11/00915/OUT.