Letters: Disappointing outcome of Baldwins Omega site

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I attended the Planning Committee meeting (“Baldwins flats plan given go-ahead” 14th June) alongside friends who live in the area.

It was very disappointing to see the committee approve a clearly inappropriate development on the site of Baldwins Omega despite the universal opposition of people who live in the area including 73 objections from local residents, at least 50 of whom were in attendance supported by local councillors, and carefully argued presentations to the committee against the proposed development.

The arguments were not against housing development on the site: outline planning permission had already been given to a plan to build houses in the area. They were against the new proposals to substantially increase the number of dwellings, meaning that they are now proposing to build apartment blocks, instead of houses, on elevated ground towering over the bungalows of current residents and increasing the number of cars that will be using the narrow and completely unsuitable Chelsea Court cul-de-sac for access.

All of this was carefully outlined in two presentations on behalf of local residents.

It was also clear that it was a matter of interpretation as to whether the council’s planning guidelines were being breached.

The committee then voted along party lines that “there were no grounds to reject this application” showing a complete disregard for all that had gone before and residents in the room.

I note in your report that restrictions had rightly been placed to make sure that badgers, birds and bats were well catered for in the development.

Its a shame such consideration isn’t given to the local residents whose lives will be negatively affected.

As an active member of the Labour Party it does feel the council has to find better ways of working with and listening to local residents and campaigns in these very difficult times.

Jon Cowley

Everton Road

Destroyed confidence in the Baldwins plan

I read with interest, and not a little despair, your bland report of the approval of planning application for development (overdevelopment) of Baldwins Omega.

I was at that meeting: I’m afraid that it, and what had gone before, have destroyed my confidence in the planning process in our city. Councillors know that this proposal has been the subject of a huge campaign by residents, with virtually no one in favour.

They listened to the description (and saw a model) of a development in which 52 dwellings in apartment blocks on a 3-metre elevated site, will tower over the bungalows below.

They heard residents describe the dangers of an additional 80-100 vehicles passing several times a day through the only access gate - at four metres wide it will permit only one vehicle at a time), into the narrow , winding road of Chelsea Court – which was designed for 14 dwellings in cul-de-sacs either side of the narrow gate.

They heard how this area is already so badly designed that bin lorries and other delivery vehicles are forced to mount the pavement – sometimes the lawns.

They heard highways issue bland reassurances that “yes, people will have to wait in their cars: it happens”.

Residents asked only that the number of dwellings be reduced to a more reasonable number (such as the original 38 proposed).

And yet, councillors voted for this appalling proposal with one councillor saying “I will vote for this because I can’t see any good reason to vote against”.

I no longer have any faith in the fair or due process of planning in our city, or in the ability of councillors, from a party I have supported all my life, to listen to their constituents, support them, and oppose measures which will so patently make their lives worse, and less safe.

Ruth Nelson

Resident

Filmed with ordinary people of Sheffield

On page 30 of last week’s Telegraph there is an article titled, ‘Keeping City On The World Stage’.

It shows a photograph taken at a Doc/Fest event at The City Hall four years ago. I attended this, so looked closely at the photo.

You can see me clearly, sitting on the fifth row from the front, on the end of the row, wearing a the light coloured shirt. There is a lady with a red skirt behind me. Wow, what a blast from the past!

It was a privilege to see the world premier of the Pulp film, Life Death and Supermarkets.

The real stars of the film are the ordinary people of Sheffield, and it captured hum-drum life perfectly. I’ve just had a look at the trailer for the film on Youtube and it looks great.

Peter Butler

By email