Sheffield residents win fight over apartments

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News: Sheffield Telegraph online 24-hours a day.

RESIDENTS who fought a scheme for apartments in the south west of Sheffield were celebrating this week after it was rejected by a planning inspector.

Two thousand objections were lodged in response to an application to replace a detached house in Dore Road with 14 apartments.

The council rejected the proposals - and so has a planning inspector after an unsuccessful appeal by Metropolitan Homes, which led to a public inquiry.

Ian Radcliffe ruled that the proposed development - two blocks of apartments - was too big to fit in with the character of the area.

“There are some buildings that are taller than the proposed apartment buildings, others that are wider, and a few with narrower gaps separating buildings from their neighbours,” he said.

“However, none are as large overall as the proposed apartment blocks which would dominate the site and appear disproportionately large in comparison to neighbouring buildings.”

Already Metropolitan Homes have permission for two previous applications, one for eight houses, the other for six, which they have the option of taking up.

But ambitions for the site of 135 Dore Road have been thwarted.

Mr Radcliffe pointed to the council’s strategy which recognised “the tendency to seek higher densities of development through, for example, the construction of apartments in attractive neighbourhoods within the city such as Dore, but advises that respecting the character of the area means that the density should be in keeping with the area”.

He concluded: “The site is in a sustainable location and the development would be sustainably constructed and have social and economic benefits. There would also be no material harm to living conditions, highway safety, ecology and the development would not exacerbate flood risk.

“However, I consider that any presumption in favour of development is significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the comprehensive harm the proposal would cause to the character and appearance of the area.”

Paul Millington, whose garden backs onto the site and is a member of Dore Conservation Group, said: “As far as I am concerned it is a victory for common sense. It is good news. At the end of the day when you get 2,000 objections it is inevitable it will have an impact on an inspector’s decision. It is clearly something the people of Dore did not want.”

Dore and Totley Lib Dem councillor Colin Ross said: “It is a victory for people power. The inspector has agreed with the points we made about it not being in character with the area. It just goes to show what a concerted effort and a well thought out campaign against an unsuitable development can do. Our points were listened to at the hearing and obviously they carried weight.”