Gleesons’ £40m green light

editorial image

Gleeson Homes are preparing to start construction of a big housing estate in the north of Sheffield after winning an appeal against the council’s rejection of a £40m scheme.

The authority questioned the standard of design of 387 homes earmarked for the site of the former college campus off Monteney Road and Remington Road in Parson Cross and whether the development would fit in with its surroundings.

But planning inspector Clive Sproule backed Gleesons after a public inquiry, saying they had worked hard to address the council’s concerns - and his verdict was confirmed by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

“Parson Cross is anywhere architecture,” said the inspector, describing it as “a ubiquitous inter-war council housing estate”.

The case, he said, illustrated the challenges faced by an “ambitious” local authority seeking “to drive forward the design of a major development” and a developer with “clear appreciation of their market and what will be deliverable”.

The proposed development of two-storey low-cost houses would help Sheffield meet its housing targets, promote regeneration and jobs in a sustainable location and generate a spin-off in terms of sports and recreation facilities to be financed by the developer.

The houses were “likely to be considered good design within a high quality development by the people who would wish to live in them”.

A spokesperson for Gleeson Homes said since a public consultation event nearly two years ago, there had been “unprecedented interest” from buyers, with a database of nearly 200 people.

“We were therefore astounded when then council refused our plans on design. It is clearly a case of Sheffield Council second-guessing their community’s requirements and getting it completely wrong.”