Have your say on sites for housing

Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, who is business and development spokesman on Sheffield Council.
Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, who is business and development spokesman on Sheffield Council.

TIME is running out for people to give their views on plans to earmark green and open spaces around Sheffield for up to 500 new homes.

Sheffield Council’s consultation exercise into the proposals ends on Monday.

The authority says it needs to earmark 18 areas - which include playing fields and farmland - to help meet a target of 35,000 new homes by the year 2026, as there is not enough brown-field land for all the properties required.

One of the areas where the plans have caused the most controversy is Woodhouse where three sites are earmarked, among them farmland off Beighton Road where as many as 200 homes could be built.

Members of Shirebrook Conservation Group have already objected.

Woodhouse resident David Newbould, a craftsman who lives half-a-mile from the farmland, said: “These fields are council- owned and are let to a local farmer, for him to produce crops.

“Council planners now think it’s a good idea to schedule this land for 200-or-so new houses, because private developers do not see brown-field sites as profitable enough. The council should grow some teeth and insist on brownfield sites first.”

Other sites earmarked for development include land surrounding reservoirs being decommissioned in Crookes, former Sheffield Hallam University playing fields at Norton and a farm at Worrall. Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council cabinet member for growth, said: “We are under pressure from the Government to identify enough land for future new homes.

“We also want to protect as much of Sheffield’s green space as we can. With the pressure on land there are some hard choices to make.

“This land is not going to be built on overnight, but it’s about having a plan of land supply for the future.

“If we do not identify enough land, developers could ask to build in places where we do not want them to - like in the green belt.

“We don’t want this to happen. We want to try to protect as much of Sheffield’s green space as we can.”

n View the plans online at https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-development/planning-documents/sdf/consultation-on-the-sdf.html or at libraries.

To comment, email sdf@sheffield.gov.uk