Controversial houses plan for Sheffield community garden re-submitted despite hundreds of objections

Controversial plans to build a block of apartments on a community garden have been resubmitted.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 12:25 pm

More than 670 people signed a petition to protect the green land at Crookes when the original plans were unveiled.

Residents have enjoyed the open space for more than 60 years and used it as a cut through between Northfield Road and Cobden View Road.

Volunteers from St Thomas’ Church and St Timothy’s Church spent many years planting flowers and tending the plot.

Controversial plans to build a block of apartments on a community garden at Crookes have been resubmitted
Controversial plans to build a block of apartments on a community garden at Crookes have been resubmitted

But a developer caused outrage when 8ft high solid fences were suddenly erected on a bank holiday weekend and trees started to be felled. At one point, residents called the police, supported by local councillors.

The application was withdrawn last September but developers have now come back with plans for three commercial units and 14 apartments in a 2/3 storey block.

There would be one studio, three one-bedroom units and 10 two bedroom units.

Developers say Sheffield Council has “responded positively” to pre-application discussions and has agreed that the broad principle of development is acceptable.

Residents called the police when trees were felled on the plot of open land at Cobden View Road

JR Planning Consultants say: “An attractive new building and its usage is entirely compatible with the character of the area.

“The site is currently not in any use and is not open to public access. It presents as an under-utilised parcel of land that should be put to better use.

“The site has historically been cluttered by advert hoardings and street furniture and it contributes little to the character of the area. The site serves no public open space function, is privately owned and is now fully fenced off.

“The scheme would deliver high-quality flats that would appeal to a range of residents including first time buyers, young professionals and those looking to downsize.

The 'community garden' at Cobden View Road in Crookes, Sheffield, where 18 flats could be built

“This would positively add to the mix of housing in the locality, which is predominantly terraced multi-level houses.”

Residents tried to have the plot designated as a Village Green but developers say the application was “without merit and invalidated”.

They add: “It’s clear that local residents value the space as informal open space however as the site is in private ownership and any previous recreational function has been removed, it cannot be considered to be open space if it only has visual amenity value.

“It is abundantly clear that there are no open space issues which would prevent the granting of planning permission.

“A number of residents objected to the closure of the path crossing the site and claims have been made that it is a public right of way.

“A number of local residents have written to the council stating that there has been continuous and uninterrupted/unchallenged use over approximately 20 years.

“The path does not appear on a definitive map. The council’s highways section has indicated there would be no objection to the removal of the path as a suitable alternative is available around the perimeter of the site.”

Planning officers are considering the application, which can be viewed here