MP calls for rethink on plans for homes on greenfield sites after new policy published

Clive Betts
Clive Betts

A RETHINK should be made of plans to build up to 600 new homes on green sites around Sheffield after a change in Government policy, MP Clive Betts has urged.

Ministers have published a National Planning Policy Framework, which urges councils to prioritise development on brownfield sites and ‘windfall’ sites currently allocated for other developments which could become available for housing.

Mr Betts’s Sheffield South East constituency includes Woodhouse, which is home to three of 18 green sites earmarked by Sheffield Council for new homes, and Tinsley, where the council wants homes to be built on playing fields off Bawtry Road.

The Labour MP said: “I had already had a discussion with David Caulfield, the council’s head of panning, about the draft framework and the changes being proposed by the all-party communities and local government committee which I am chairman of, and particularly about the potential impact of including ‘windfall sites’ in the assessment of the amount of land required.

“I am hopeful a re-appraisal will lead to the conclusion greenfield sites at Bawtry Road and Woodhouse are not required to meet Sheffield’s housing requirements.”

The council has included the greenfield sites for housing as part of plans to develop more than 35,000 new homes by 2026 to provide ‘flexible’ options for developers.

Mr Caulfield said: “We welcome the changes in the new framework.

“This includes a number of new options for us that we have asked for, such as opportunities to include windfall sites in our figures.

“It is too early to say what impact this will have on plans to build on greenfield land.

“What we can say is we will not propose any more greenfield development than absolutely necessary to meet the long-term need for new homes.”