Residents’ relief as car park plan is withdrawn

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

PROTESTERS have won a battle to halt plans for a temporary car park on overgrown land near hospitals and the University of Sheffield.

The university joined community groups, local councillors and residents in opposing the request for council permission to create 140 spaces at the corner of Harcourt Road and Northumberland Road.

One of the main concerns was the traffic implications, especially for the junction with Crookesmoor Road.

Now the application has been withdrawn before the council could give its verdict.

Council planners had been asking the applicants for a more detailed traffic assessment before making a recommendation to councillors. Although no permission has been granted on this occasion, there is still the option of the scheme being submitted again.

Local councillor Shaffaq Mohammed welcomed the withdrawal.

“There were a lot of concerns from neighbours, particularly about the dangerous junction. Some residents say there is a need for extra parking in Broomhill, especially for the hospitals, but clearly this site was causing problems.”

Other issues raised by critics included traffic fumes and the environmental impact of asphalting the site of the former British Glass laboratories, which is near the university’s Goodwin Sports Centre, academic buildings and Weston Park and other hospitals. Plans for housing were approved eight years ago, but have failed to materialise so far because of the economic downturn.

Parking Lots Ltd, which sought council permission for five years, said the car park would be convenient for hospital visitors - and there was support from some visitors, including some who travel long distances to Weston Park, highlighting the current difficulities of finding a convenient parking spot.

Objectors included Broomhill Action Neighbourhood Group, which said pedestrians used the side roads to avoid the “dangerous and unpleasant environment” along Whitham Road, Harcourt Community Action and Broomhill Green Party.

Keith Lilley, the university’s director of estates and facilities management, told the council: “We believe the proposed car park will be a backward step for the area and will undo the substantial progress which has been made by the property owners in this location to make it an attractive and educational location.”

Coun Mohammed yesterday urged the landowner to meet him and residents to consider an alternative of family housing on the site to meet a shortage in Broomhill.

At present, the site was “an eyesore and a problem”, he said.