Sheffield mental health unit receives approval

Disused Garages at the rear of Daisy Walk,Beighton
Disused Garages at the rear of Daisy Walk,Beighton

Residents reacted with fury after Sheffield Council granted planning permission for a 20-bed mental health unit despite 38 objections.

People living around the development site, currently disused garages between Lilac Road, Daisy Walk and Sevenairs Road in Beighton, were unhappy about the size of the building and its proximity to houses.

The three-storey centre, to be built by Guinness Northern Counties housing, will provide sheltered flats for adults with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Agents for the housing association said changes had been made to reduce the scale of the building – moving it back two-and-a-half metres from the boundary of neighbouring homes and changing a gable end.

But Eunice Wigfield, a pensioner of Lilac Road, said: “I don’t think the councillors have considered our objections in any detail. It’s still too close to our houses.”

Ian Cartwright, a neighbour who also lives on Lilac Road, added: “I think the whole exercise has just been going through the motions of listening to the public. Our comments have been ignored.”

Neighbouring residents were also concerned that only 15 parking spaces are to be built, but Guinness said most occupants - who would be adults - would not drive.

Fears were also raised about toxic residues from mining which people in the area are worried could be buried under the site.

Council officials are to discuss the issue with the developer.

But members of the planning board said that, overall, the scheme ‘meets a need for this type of accommodation’.

Coun Peter Rippon, Shiregreen and Brightside Labour councillor and a planning board member, said: “I am pleased we are developing a facility to allow people to live independently.”

Coun Bob McCann, Liberal Democrat Graves Park councillor, added: “We are short of this type of facility in Sheffield.”

Coun Alan Law, planning board chairman and Labour councillor for Firth Park, said: “A lot of problems with these kind of developments are down to management.

“Here, we have a company with a good reputation.”