New college bid for green belt homes

ANOTHER attempt will be made next week to secure council permission for a controversial housing scheme in Sheffield’s green belt.

Sheffield College is seeking approval again on Tuesday to redevelop its former Loxley campus.

Last month councillors shelved a verdict on an outline application for detached and semi-detached houses off Wood Lane when officers suggested the number should be reduced from 71 to 67, to the surprise of the college’s representatives.

After more talks between council planning officers and the applicants, it is being suggested that the number of homes stays at 71 but with the promise of a different layout and design for a section of the development, to be confirmed later as part of the detailed planning process.

The college wants to sell the site for housing after moving to a new campus at Hillsborough but has run into opposition from residents and conservation groups because of the impact on the green belt and surrounding roads, especially at Malin Bridge.

Critics say the current outline application is “nebulous”, lacking details that allowed it to be assessed for its effect on the Loxley Valley. If permission is granted, the final word will rest with the Government’s Communities Secretary because of the implications for the green belt.