Campaigners hand in petiton signed by more than 900 people in battle to save Sheffield fields

Campaigners fighting against plans to build 500 homes in Sheffield fields near their homes have handed in a petition to council bosses urging them to scrap the proposals.

Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 1:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 1:58 pm
Campaigners from the Owlthorpe Fields Action Group hand in their petition at Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star.

Members of Owlthorpe Fields Action Group hand delivered the document, signed by 926 people, to Sheffield Town Hall after setting up their own action group to fight against the scheme.

Sheffield Council announced last month it intended to sell almost eight acres of greenfield land at Moorthorpe Way, in Owlthorpe, Mosborough '“ known as Owlthorpe Fields.

Campaigners from the Owlthorpe Fields Action Group hand in their petition at Sheffield Town Hall. Picture: Sam Cooper / The Star.

The council's sales brochure said the vacant plot, which lies close to the Donetsk Way Supertram stop, was understood to have been farmland but has been earmarked for housing development since the 60s.

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 It described how planning policy recommends 40-60 dwellings per hectare, meaning between 314 and 471 homes could be built on the land surrounding Owlthorpe Surgery.

Christine Rippon, group secretary, said: 'We have knocked on doors and we've had such a great response. A lot of people volunteered and helped out too.

Land at Moorthorpe Way, in Owlthorpe, which is earmarked for housing.

'I would guess that more than 90 per cent of the people we spoke to have signed the petition. There have been a small number of people who think it's a good idea to put another 500 homes with 2.1 cars per household into an already overcrowded area but why they think that I don't know.

Ms Rippon said the group remained determined to fight the proposals and called for Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore to halt the sale of the land.

She added: 'If there was going to be some infrastructure '“ schools, GP practices, roads '“ put in place then I think that would make a difference.

'The main issue people on the doorstep have told us they have is traffic because that will affect everyone's daily life but we've had a passionate response from people right across Owlthorpe, Mosborough, Hackenthorpe.'

The brochure stated the Highways Authority considers this was '˜not essential' to enable development of the land in question.

The plot is split into three segments and offers for the first section, measuring 3.35 hectares, along with any expressions of interest in the other two tranches, must be made by noon, on Friday, November 2.

Ms Rippon said: 'What we would like to see is that the sale doesn't go ahead until there has been a proper period of consultation.

'It is a lovely area of open space and there is a lot of wildlife there, including bats and rare species of birds.'

The sales brochure stated: 'It forms the first of a new phase of land to be released for housing development in Owlthorpe and presents an exciting opportunity for a high quality development, building on that already established by the nearby Woodland Heights development.'

It claimed Moorthorpe Way was built to serve a larger development but only the homes at Woodland Heights were completed, with the '˜over-designed' roundabouts illustrating the '˜unrealised intention' to provide more homes.

Mostly two-bed homes, with a smaller amount of three and four-bed properties, are recommended for the land, with 10 per cent required to be affordable housing and the remainder expected to be available for shared ownership.