Protesters gear up for another flats battle

Dore residents.
Dore residents.
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ANOTHER battle is looming over proposed apartments in Dore.

After an unsuccessful appeal to the Secretary of State for 14 luxury flats off Dore Road, a revised application has been submitted to the council.

It seeks to address the key issue of the scale of the proposed development and its impact on the surroundings that was raised by the appeal inspector - but objectors say little has changed and are preparing another challenge.

“It’s cosmetic,” said local Liberal Democrat councillor Colin Ross. “People are incensed by the whole thing.”

More than 2,000 people signed a protest petition and sent letters of objection last year and the case went to appeal after the council agreed with protesters that the two blocks of apartments would be ‘an over-dominant feature, out of scale and character’ with the area.

Now Metropolitan Homes are trying again, for 14 apartments in two blocks of two-and-a-half storeys on the site of a former house at 135 Dore Road.

The new L-shaped design takes into account the planning inspector’s refusal of the previous scheme, say representatives in a submission to the council.

“The massing of the buildings on the front of the site has been significantly reduced and the side elevation has been part set back and separated by the inclusion of an interesting glazed tower.

“We believe this addresses comprehensively the reasons for refusal of the previous scheme and now better respects the character and appearance of the area.”

However, Coun Ross said that the application was still for 14 apartments and little different from the one that was refused by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on the recommendation of the appeal inspector.

He predicted another campaign of opposition, including a petition. “I am hoping the planners will dismiss this quickly,” said Coun Ross. “It’s outrageous.”

Already community representatives are saying that the developer “still hasn’t taken the hint that the site is unsuitable for blocks of flats and Dore really doesn’t want his gross overdevelopment”.

One neighbour is telling the council that the new application “would still create too much traffic on a dangerous bend and is out of scale and character for the location”.

Last time around critics argued that the flats would overlook their homes, be out of character and cause traffic, ecological and drainage problems - but the appeal inspector’s conclusions only questioned the scale of the proposed buildings which would “dominate” the site and appear “disproportionately large in comparison to neighbouring buildings”.

Previous protests have come from Dore Village Society, Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg and former Tory councillor Anne Smith.

Despite being unsuccessful in attempts to secure permission for apartments, council approval has been granted for either six or eight houses on the site.