People who live near Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium have called for residents’ parking permit schemes to be introduced after plans were announced to build on a car park used by fans.
Developer Jaguar Estates said it was hoping to build a £25 million development of shops, drive-through restaurants, warehouses and more on a 10-acre plot of land just off Penistone Road North.
But the site is currently used by supporters' club Wednesdayite as a matchday car park for hundreds of cars.
Julie Morris, 44, who lives on Bickerton Road, said: “It's just ridiculous. We literally can’t go out if Wednesday are at home because we would never get parked again.
“There needs to a permit scheme if they close the car park. It’s a nightmare as it is now, let alone without them being able to park over the road.”
The Star toured streets around Hillsborough before the club’s game with Reading on Saturday and cars lined both sides of most residential streets.
And the fact we chose to travel by tram rather than drive, perhaps tells its own story about the problems faced by those who live near the ground.
Mick Thompson, 56, of Winster Road, said: “I am a Wednesday fan so when they’re playing I go but my missus never goes out in the car when they are playing because it’s so bad.
“I think they’ve got a permit scheme around Bramall Lane so why not Hillsborough?”
People living near the site also raised concerns about an increase in traffic on Penistone Road on non-matchdays.
One resident, of Parkside Road, who did not want to be named, said: “The traffic is a nightmare on Penistone Road so it’s not just the parking that will be a problem.
"There will be more rush-hour traffic.”
While there are concerns among residents near the site, most fans parking on the land were not worried about the impact.
Owls’ season-ticket holder Eric Smithwaite, 71, said: “I have to drive to the games because my wife can’t walk very far.
“I’ve been parking here for years and it’s great because we have a permit and it’s right across the road from the ground.
"I just feel sorry for everyone who lives around here.”
Jaguar Estates has lodged a planning application with the council to put up three retail units, eight storage and distribution units, two drive-through restaurants and one vehicle maintenance and repair facility.
There would also be parking, access roads and the necessary changes to junctions.
National chains have expressed an interest in moving in – potential occupiers include a discount food store, a coffee shop and builders’ merchants.
Jaguar Estates director Patrick Herbert said the scheme would lead to ‘the physical improvement of the area and job creation’.
“It’s just a positive statement on Penistone Road where there’s still a number of sites which are lying derelict,” he said.
“The north of Sheffield seems to have been fairly neglected over the years.”
Mr Herbert said Asda’s store at Parson Cross had been ‘an improvement’, while the Kilner Way retail park and the large Sainsbury’s at Wadsley Bridge were performing well.
“Kilner Way is nearly 100 per cent full, the Sainsbury’s seems to be trading better – they would all benefit from related trips from shoppers in that area.”
He said Penistone Road offered a substantial amount of passing trade.
“It’s the busiest road in the city, with a massive catchment,” he added.
Jaguar Estates bought the site from former landowners Tesco as part of a consortium four years ago.
In 2003, a bid by Tesco to open a superstore there was rejected by council bosses.
The Star has contacted Sheffield Council for a comment and is awaiting a response.