A controversial scheme for a camping and caravan site in countryside in the north of Sheffield is in line for council approval next week.
City planners say there are “exceptional circumstances” to justify using part of the green belt - Little Intake Farm at Grenoside - now that the proposals have been scaled back.
They recommend permission is granted next Tuesday when city councillors will also be under pressure from the community to approve the application because of the benefits for rural tourism and the spin-offs for Grenoside. Landords of the Old Red Lion, Old Harrow and Angel pubs are giving their support.
But there is opposition, especially from environmental groups, because of the sensitive location, in the green belt and next to woodland.
Initially, it was intended to have up to 70 touring caravans and a campsite off a track from the Old Woodhead Road.
Now permission is being sought for 31 alongside a smaller informal camping area. Existing agricultural buildings would be converted into a reception, play area and toilet and shower block. The idea of building a toilet and shower block has been dropped.
Council planners says the revised scheme is “significantly reduced”, and a buffer strip “would prevent encroachment into the adjoining woodland and create openness within the site. The seasonal characteristics of camping would mean that there would be periods of very low activity on the site and during times of no camping, that part of the site would revert back to grazing.”
Planners add there are “clear benefits” to the rural economy, and the scheme has “substantial support” from local businesses”, in total outweighing any damage to the green belt.
The council received 59 submissions and two petitions with a total of 163 names in favour of the development, and letters of support from tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire and the Country Land and Business Association.
Applicant Mark Boulby, who wants permission in time for the Tour de France, says the only camp site in Sheffield at present is a small one in the Rivelin Valley. He is backed by council tourism managers who say most sites are in the Peak District or outside the city boundary.