The former Hepworth factory site on the edge of the Peak District

Developers propose up to 300 new homes in Loxley valley township

Developers have submitted plans to build a new township of up to 300 homes on Green Belt land in the heart of the Loxley valley and on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park.

Patrick Properties are seeking outline planning permission to demolish the long-abandoned old refractory works in the valley bottom below Damflask and to replace them with “modern and aspirational homes”.

The company’s planning application makes no commitment to the detailed design or layout of the new township.

It says that these will be “reserved matters” to be determined later through detailed planning applications once the site has been sold on to housebuilders.

Eight years of construction work

The planning application envisages the site will be sold in separate plots to be developed in phases.

“Demolition work and site preparation” is proposed to begin early next year. This phase would be scheduled for completion towards the end of 2022.

Housebuilding would then last for seven years, with completion envisaged in 2029.

How to view the planning application

The planning application is now available for public viewing on the Sheffield City Council planning department website. It comprises 32 detailed documents and drawings.

We’re still trying to plough through it all, but we think this summarising document may be the best place to start:

Local people have just over two weeks to make their views known to planners. The deadline for public comments is Monday, June 1st.

We are extremely disappointed, to say the least, that this huge proposal has been sprung on the community at such short notice during lockdown. We cannot even meet locally to discuss it!

Friends of the Loxley Valley’s concerns

Friends of the Loxley Valley are now studying the plans carefully before submitting a detailed response.

We initially hoped there would be elements of it that we could support, but so far we can’t find any.

We will therefore be submitting a very strong objection, and we would urge you to do the same!

Our management committee have deep concerns. We think the township is far too big. We fear it will have devastating implications for our communities and for our cherished and peaceful local countryside.

Patrick Properties say they will create “a sustainable neighbourhood”.

We can see nothing sustainable. We worry that this new township could easily become an isolated car-dependent enclave of executive homes.

We fear the site will be over-developed, leading to heavy demands on local roads, schools and communities and round-the-clock intrusion of noise and light pollution on the Green Belt edge of the national park.

The site flooded extensively in 2007 and has been inundated with heavy run-off during the recent wet winter.

The developers claim flood risks can be mitigated. We urge planners and councillors to scrutinise this forensically.

We also worry about the impact on the adjoining ancient woodlands, and on the city’s carbon footprint at a time of climate emergency.

It is now almost 30 years since there was any significant activity in the old factories.

Since then the valley has become a peaceful recreational corridor, and the old buildings have become largely screened by trees.

We think our gateway to the Peak District is now more important than ever during the coronavirus crisis.

We would like to see a sustainable resolution of the long impasse over the factories’ future.

But we suspect this planning application may be putting private profit before the needs and aspirations of the local community.

How we can all make our views known

Friends of the Loxley Valley are working on a detailed response to the planning application. We are working in close partnership with CPRE South Yorkshire.

The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) fight hard to protect Sheffield’s cherished Green Belt. They have helped us for many years to try to achieve a consensual future for the old factory sites.

They share our opposition to the township, describing it as “the wrong development in the wrong place”.

We are also working closely with our MP Olivia Blake, and with the local councillors who represent us on Sheffield City Council and Bradfield Parish Council.

They are working hard to represent your interests and would welcome your views on the planning application.

If you live in the area or are concerned about the valley’s future, you also have the right to make your views known to the planning department.

You can do this by posting your comments through the ‘planning portal’ on the Sheffield City Council website.

The planning application reference number is 20/01301/OUT

How you can help us to make a difference

If you are as passionate as we are about the Loxley valley, we would also urge you to join Friends of the Loxley Valley and to help us in our work.

You may also like to support the work of our friends at CPRE South Yorkshire.

Your energy and expertise could make a critical difference in the next few weeks as we plough through the mountain of planning paperwork and try to spread the word about what it all means!

You can join Friends of the Loxley Valley by filling in a simple form on this website.

Thank you so much for your interest!


Geradine Rhodes

Ive tried several times to object on this issue in particular but uncannily there’s always a server error. Strange.
Changes are needed in the said area’s current road system and drainage system in order to alleviate the related problems. Changes to ease traffic congestion, providing safe routes for walkers and cyclists, whilst accomodating ever growing visitor traffic amidst residential parking is long overdue. Safety of all road users as well as residents is at stake. Secondly the yearly flooding on Loxley Road and other linking roads needs to be tackled. If these 2 big problems are sorted then building more housing can be evaluated sensibly, all things considered.

Well i am so upset.. loxley valley is beautiful and is a fantastic home to wildlife. A really gem of a wildlife corridor.. ive seen badgers foxes and deer regularly and a phenomenal amount of birds. I even spotted an otter ..The construction of these houses will disrupt everything. I am sure there are better places to build within the city instead if expelanding out into beautiful countryside . The city needs more social housing not unaffordable properties.

Matthew Windle

I believe this area should be returned to nature, it could give so much to the local people for nature and exercise, there could be bike tracks and footpaths that would keep kids safer than cycling on main roads.

When objecting to planning applications it is important to object by referring to clauses in legislation that the council has to use when determining applications – these are set out in the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) and individual Local Plans – Sheffield City Council have produced their own plan based on the guidance set out in the National Plan setting out local policies – Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with these plans – The developer has clearly employed professional organisations to outline the positive aspects set out in these plans to back the application they have made, but have ignored the negative aspects and made some of the positive aspects fit their agenda – Objections need to point out the clauses in a factual manner (not emotionally) for them to be effective. I will be making my objection in this way.

Pamela Griffiths

I strongly object to the proposed plans for building 300 houses in The Loxley valley. I have lived here well over 30 years and I have seen many changes, but I think this proposal is totally unacceptable in this lovely green belt area. It provides many country walks and it is the natural habitat for many species of wildlife. I would suggest that although more housing is required in this country, that you should provide it within towns that need it and not destroy our wonderful countryside. Once the green belt has been destroyed it can never be restored. So please seriously reconsider this proposal. Don’t let profit come before the carnage of wildlife and destruction of our lovely green belt valley.

Thank you
Mrs Pamela Griffiths

Angela Stones

I too have tried repeatedly to log on to the portal of planning department and have ben unsuccessful due to server error. I protest strongly with this planning application. I have lived in Stannington Village for 25 years and over the passed 5-6 years have noticed that there is more and more development in this area and I am sick to death of it. The infrastructure can not take any more. I can spend a good half hour in a morning on stannington road trying to get to work as the traffic is so bad and its even worse in bad weather. The road structure can not take anymore . With the increase in households more schools and will be needed and we can not already get in to see a GP. Its Too much and enough is enough. This site is on green land and should not be built on so why is the council even considering it. Why don’t these developers build on old factor land at Tinsley? is it because there wont be able to sell the houses for astronomical prices affecting their profits I wonder!!! We don’t need it or want it.

Terry & Margaret Thomas

We vehemently oppose this application, with it’s lucrative proposals!
Having lived in Stannington village for over 30 years, we have witnessed many changes & building developments. This has impacted heavily on the infrastructure & services in the area.
To learn of a proposal to build 300 homes in the Loxley valley, is absolutely heartbreaking!
It is imperative this application is rejected. We simply must protect our precious green belt, & recommend the site be turned into a conservation area, for the benefit of our wildlife & future generations.

I’ve lived near The Loxley Valley for over 60yrs. It is so beautiful quiet and full off wild life. Many happy hours spent there with my children and now my grandchildren. Building on this sight would spoil the area.I strongly disagree to the proposal. Over the years many building developments have had a big impact on the area. Local people will not be able to afford these properties as the are high end. This is all for profit. The roads will not be able to take the extra traffic all roads are congested as it is. Children can’t get into local schools. And try to get a Drs. appointment is almost impossible. My Husband and I strongly object to these proposals.

I understand the fears of local people and I hope there are no more houses built in the area,but at the moment the same area is a total dump,so something needs to be done. What.

Leave a Reply