A scheme to create a camping and caravan site in the green belt in the north of Sheffield in time for next summer’s Tour de France is splitting local opinion.
Many residents in the area are urging the city council to give the go-ahead for 30 touring caravan pitches and space for 50 tents at Little Intake Farm, off Woodhead Road, Grenoside. Tourism agency Welcome To Yorkshire has thrown its weight behind landowner Mark Boulby’s application.
But Grenoside Conservation Society, the local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, parish councils in Ecclesfield and Bradfield and local MP Angela Smith are lined up against the £1m project. Mountain bike champion Steve Peat is among individuals who are objecting.
With existing camping and caravanning sites concentrated in the south west of Sheffield and the Peak District, the idea is to offer an alternative in the north of the city, especially with the arrival of the Tour de France in July.
Supporters say it would be a shot-in-the-arm for the local economy and Sheffield’s attempts to be known as the UK’s ‘outdoor capital’. Ten jobs would be created.
And there is plenty of support from individuals. Petitions have been submitted - one of 132 names, the other with ten.
One supporter says: “I feel it can only be good for the community of Grenoside and surrounding areas. It will also bring in welcome work for local tradesmen and small businesses in the area as well as extra activities for young people and old alike, who would be drawn to the greenest city in England.”
Another says: “We need more outdoor opportunities in Sheffield, and this is on the doorstep of activities such as the riding school and Grenoside Woods for walking and mountain biking.”
But Grenoside Conservation Society warns of “great disturbance to this quiet and peaceful recreational area”, claiming that the application is another attempt to get a form of residential development on the site after residential use was refused on appeal nine years ago.
The society says installation of water, electricity and waste disposal would cause “considerable disruption to the whole site and much of the surrounding woodlands”, and there would be an increase in traffic and noise and light pollution.
CPRE South Yorkshire says: “Although leisure and recreational uses may be appropriate in the green belt, the scale of these proposals and their implications for generating noise, traffic and disturbance in an otherwise quiet location, including into the night, would be wholly inappropriate”.
Angela Smith says there are no exceptional circumstances in this instance to justify green belt development.
New lease of life for old farm
Old farm buildings would be reused as part of the project
A barn would become a site reception and a shed a children’s play area, while a derelict building would be replaced by a shower and toilet block. It is also intended to create an outdoor play area.
At present, the land can be used for camping up to 28 days a year without council approval.