Sheffield residents’ group in line for more planning power

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

Residents in south-west Sheffield suburbs could soon be voting in a referendum over a ‘neighbourhood plan’ which will give people living and working in the area a bigger say on building developments on their doorsteps.

The BBEST group - Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield and Tapton - has mapped out an area stretching from Ranmoor student village to Weston Park, which would be covered by a blueprint setting out the type of developments community members want to see.

The group, which has 45 members, has also applied to the council to be officially designated a neighbourhood forum - part of the first stage of putting the plan in place.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet is recommended to approve the application at a meeting next Wednesday.

Once the blueprint is drawn up, residents living in the mapped area - which includes all of Broomhill, streets in Endcliffe, and Crookes Valley Park, as well as listed buildings such as King Edward VII School - would be asked to vote in a referendum on whether the plan should be officially adopted.

In its application, the group says: “The proposed area has at its heart the district shopping area of Broomhill. The whole area is within approximately 10 minutes walk of these shops.

“The shops are very important to local residents, and they provide a focus for the entire proposed area.

“They also face substantial pressures, and are keen to engage in planning debates to improve the functioning of the local economy.”

The neighbourhood plan would also allow residents to preserve green spaces, the group adds.

“The area is seriously short of green space, both public open space, publicly accessible private space and green space which, while not publicly accessible, is of a kind acknowledged as an amenity.

“Over the past three decades green space has been used for university residential developments and commercial housing and further losses of green space could be imminent.

“Enhancing and improving green spaces has been a local priority for many years. The boundary therefore includes green space that is of substantial local importance, notably Weston Park.”

Members of BBEST include former councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, and managers of the Oxfam shop on Fulwood Road and Beanies Wholefoods on Crookes Valley Road.

“Additional members are being actively sought for those areas that are comparitively under-represented,” the group says. “Members represent various sections of the community including owners, renters, students, long-term residents, old and young.”