Developers propose up to 300 new homes in Loxley valley township

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!

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Ash Cottage on Loxley Road faces renewed demolition application

Ash Cottage on Loxley Road faces renewed demolition application

As you may be aware, developers have submitted fresh plans to demolish the historic Ash Cottage on Loxley Road, despite their original application being thrown out unanimously by Sheffield city councillors.

The detached stone-built cottage is one of just four distinctive ‘sideways-on’ houses along Loxley Road. A carved stone in its frontage records its date of construction in 1885. It featured a distinctive ash tree as the centrepiece of its garden until this was cut down recently.

The owner of the house applied in 2018 for planning permission to demolish it and replace it with two five-bedroom houses. The application was rejected in January 2020 by the city council’s Planning and Highways Committee.

Councillors ruled that the plans would constitute overdevelopment and would not be in keeping with the character of the area. They said the proposals did not comply with the Loxley Valley Design Statement and were inconsistent with local and national planning policies.

The owners have now submitted a revised application to demolish Ash Cottage and replace it with two slightly smaller new houses, (down from five bedrooms to four).

Local people have until Wednesday March 4th to comment on the proposals. To date, 16 people have voiced strong objections.

If you wish to make your views known, you may wish to cite the policies of the Loxley Valley Design Statement, which can be found on this website.

 

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Flood damage on Damflask footpath

Flood damage on Damflask footpath

Did anybody see the videos that were posted online from Low Bradfield at the weekend as flood water washed across the bottom of Woodfall Lane? Flask End cafe decided to close early after posting a dramatic clip on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. You could see the water almost lapping through their door.

The water obviously washed around the village with some force, because this morning there’s a deep rut gouged into the end of the Damflask footpath where it meets the bridge below Smithy Garage. Quite a few paths and lanes around the valley have been badly damaged by flood waters this winter. We’d imagine it’ll take quite a lot of work to get them back to a good condition.

Flood damage to footpath at Damflask
Flood damage to footpath at Damflask
Close-up of flood damage to footpath at Damflask
Close-up of flood damage to footpath at Damflask
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