Villagers’ plea over ‘eyesore’ building site

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Residents in Worrall have handed in a petition with hundreds of signatures urging Sheffield Council to take action over a stalled building development which villagers say is an eyesore.

Planning permission was granted in 2008 for the former toilet block on Haggstones Road to be turned into a retail unit, but the building remains in an unfinished state, surrounded by a metal fence.

Now concerned locals have collected more than 300 signatures on a petition calling on progress to be made with the work before the Tour de France’s Grand Départ passes through the village next July.

Ray Battye, chairman of the Worrall Environmental Group, said the site was in a ‘prominent position’ and created ‘an area of unsightly dereliction’.

“Despite assurances from the owner that building would recommence shortly, no such work has been undertaken and the site therefore remains as an eyesore,” said Mr Battye.

The council said an enforcement officer will visit the site this week ‘to assess whether there is a case for any further action’, but stressed it cannot force a developer to finish work more quickly. The council can only ask for land to be kept properly maintained.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “Once we have assessed the site we will work with the developer to see what can be resolved straightaway and then agree what else needs to be done within set timescales.

“We agree with residents that it would be desirable to see the site looking smart in time for the Tour de France.”