New fire stations ‘can be built in green belt’

Artist's impression of the Parkway Fire Station that will be built by BAM Construction
Artist's impression of the Parkway Fire Station that will be built by BAM Construction

Plans for two fire stations for the south east and east of Sheffield could be approved next week, despite protests over green belt locations.

Councillors are being advised by their officers to accept schemes for scrubland near the Bowden Wood roundabout, at the junction of the Sheffield and Mosborough Parkways, and grassland off Birley Lane and Moor Valley, near Birley Golf Club.

South Yorkshire Fire Service says the locations have been chosen to reflect shifts in population and for optimum emergency response times once stations at Mansfield Road, Mosborough and Darnall have closed. It checked 30 potential sites.

Now the service has secured the backing of city planners, who say there is justification for sidestepping green belt rules.

In both cases, says a report to councillors on Tuesday, “it is considered that improvements to fast and efficient fire service response and coverage to the people of Sheffield constitute very special circumstances which outweigh any harm from developing this site in the green belt.”

But councillors are under pressure from objectors to resist the applications, especially on the basis that brownfield sites should be given priority for development.

Parkway protesters say the proposed location is rich in wildlife and is well used for recreation. Concerns are being raised by the Council for the Protection of Rural England, the Woodland Trust and Sheffield Wildlife Trust.

At Birley, issues are raised by Mosborough Valley Wildlife Group and Mosborough Village Action Group.