Blow for residents in fight to save community garden from development in Sheffield suburb
Residents campaigning to save a community garden have had their hopes dented after the council said the land was not a public open space or right of way.
Controversial plans to build a block of 14 apartments and three shops on the green space in Crookes were resubmitted last month.
Residents have enjoyed the open space for more than 60 years and used it as a cut through between Northfield Road and Cobden View Road.
More than 670 people signed a petition to protect the site when the original plans were unveiled.
Crookes councillor Mohammed Mahroof said there was a lot of concern about the loss of the land and asked council chiefs for an update.
Coun Alison Teal, Executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “The small area of green space off Cobden View Road is neither in council ownership nor a public open space.
“The path across it is not a formally recorded public right of way, although it appears to be well used.
“There is currently no possibility of claiming it as public open space, given that it has been identified as a piece of land appropriate for development.”
Coun Teal said residents’ opinions would be taken into account when it came before the planning board.
She added: “The council officer has recommended that the path across the site should be formally closed if planning permission is granted to build across the path.
“This is the procedure to be followed for a path on a development site that is deemed unnecessary whether it is a formally recorded right of way or just a well used path.”
More than 50 residents have objected to the revised application. One neighbour on Springvale Road said: “The site has been a valued area of green space for many years. If people build on every available little pocket of greenery eventually there will be very little left.
“It seems like a small insignificant area but multiplied across the region these spaces add up to a lot of greenery which is essential to keeping the environment in balance and adding to people’s wellbeing.”