THIS is the transformation that awaits a run-down area on the edge of Sheffield city centre – after long-awaited plans were given the go-ahead.
Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board has approved the scheme to turn a strip of derelict land between Nursery Street and the River Don into a pocket park which will also help reduce the risk of flooding.
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “The park will provide the first opportunity within the city centre to get down to water level and experience the much cleaned-up and wildlife-rich river.
“As well as grass terraces to enjoy the scene, or do a spot of fishing there will also be a canoe launch platform.
“Remains of historic steel furnaces will also be preserved on the site.”
He added: “The Wicker area was devastated by the floods in 2007 as the river overtopped the banks at Nursery Street and flowed overland through the streets of the area. As well as a new pocket park for visitors and residents Nursery Street will also include improved flood protection measures for the area.”
The park will replace empty overgrown land and disused buildings.
It is designed not only to make the riverside more attractive, but to help prevent the type of flooding that devastated the area in the summer of 2007.
A terrace will be fashioned to allow the river to overflow within accepted boundaries. New flood defence walls are planned.
“The new riverside and roadside walls will deal with anything up to a one-in-100-year flood event, without climate change allowance,” says a council report.
The Government-funded project includes tree and wildflower planting, benches and a platform for launching canoes.
Councillors hope one of the spin-offs will be to make the area around the Wicker more attractive for development.
An archaeological assessment has uncovered the remains of a steelworks, which will be retained as a “simple landscaped area”.
The plans are a scaled-down version of an earlier scheme, which involved closing the road and creating a stepped park down to the water’s edge.