Council to build 2,300 houses

Councillors Harry Harpham and Julie Dore, at Nofolk park with Christopher Dermody  right
Councillors Harry Harpham and Julie Dore, at Nofolk park with Christopher Dermody right

‘Pride’ as major construction scheme revealed - and it could begin in summer

WORK could begin this summer on the first of up to 2,300 new homes to be built on derelict land around estates across Sheffield - the first major council-led housing development in the city since the 1980s.

Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore revealed planning applications have now been submitted for the first three sites.

The applications involve land which was once home to a tower block off Park Grange Road, Norfolk Park, along with empty areas around the Shirecliffe estate, and Falstaff Road, Parson Cross.

Most of the new homes will be for sale at ‘affordable prices’ and only 25 of the first 305 homes would be for rent, the council said, as it needs to cover the costs of the developments.

There would be greater amounts of housing for rent and shared ownership in later phases of the scheme, which will also include sites across the north of the city, Parson Cross, Fir Vale, Manor, Manor Park and Arbourthorne.

All the new properties will be completed in the next 15 years.

Coun Dore said: “I am immensely proud that we are now pressing ahead with the developments.

“The new houses will be spacious and high quality, of different sizes to accommodate a variety of households, and some will also be suitable for people with mobility problems.”

She added the homes would also be designed to ‘blend in’ with neighbouring surroundings.

Land at Shirecliffe and Parson Cross has been empty for around a decade after old terraced homes were pulled down. The sites have been plagued regularly by anti-social behaviour.

The schemes are likely to be approved by Sheffield Council’s planning board in April and work could begin in the summer, Coun Dore said.

The developments are to be built by Sheffield’s new Local Housing Company, a partnership between the council, housing association Great Places Housing Group, and building company Keepmoat.

Residents around Norfolk Park welcomed the news.

Christopher Dermody, a retired builder who has rented a council house in the area for 30 years, said: “It will be a great idea - at the moment people are finding it difficult to afford to buy houses and there are few council houses that come available.

“The new homes will be a help.”

A woman said: “It all sounds a good idea but we need more of them now rather than in years to come. The council should also need to look at changes to schemes like shared ownership because it is still not affordable for some first time buyers.”

An 18-year-old girl who is pregnant with her first child and put herself on the housing waiting list five months ago, said: “There are no spare council houses in Norfolk Park. It’s a good idea to build these new homes, but more should be for rent than for sale.”

Tenants’ and residents’ groups in the north of the city also welcomed the new homes although they, too, were concerned about the limited amount of rented housing to be built in the first phase.

Mick Daniels, chairman of Brushes Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Firth Park, an area which also has vacant sites where the council is proposing to build new homes, said: “It’ll be great to see the new houses but I’d like to see more go for social rent because that’s what we are short of.

“You have to be thankful for small mercies, though. The empty sites are a bit of a blight on the estates.”

Sheffield Housing Company aims to build a total of 2,300 new homes over 15 years.

If planning permission is approved for the first three phases, work at Falstaff and Norfolk Park would begin in July and Shirecliffe the following year.

The Falstaff scheme involves 142 houses on land at Falstaff Road, Falstaff Crescent, Murdock Road, Bartlett Road and Symons Crescent. Properties will be a mixture of two and three bedroom houses plus seven four bedroom homes.

There will be 14 homes for social rent, the rest for sale.

In Shirecliffe, 47 houses are planned for sites in Penrith Road, Longley Avenue West, Crumpsall Road and Boynton Road, which would be a mixture of two and three bedroom houses, all for sale.

Norfolk Park involves 116 houses on land at Park Spring Drive - a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes. There would be 11 for social rent and the rest for sale.