Green Belt

Loxley valley Green Belt to be safeguarded under new Sheffield Local Plan

Loxley valley Green Belt to be safeguarded under new Sheffield Local Plan

The Green Belt countryside in the Loxley valley will remain protected from inappropriate development under the 15-year Sheffield planning blueprint that the city council has released for public consultation.

The draft Sheffield Local Plan sets out how the city will build 35,700 new homes to house an expanding population between 2024 and 2039.

Sheffield City Council says it can meet new housing and business needs without pushing the city further into the countryside. The only significant encroachment into the Green Belt is the old Norton Aerodrome site on the south of the city.

The council’s ambition is for a “compact, sustainable city” that meets its development requirements within the current urban area, and largely on well-connected brownfield sites.

The council agreed the draft Plan last month (December 2022) and is now inviting public comments before submitting it to the government Planning Inspectorate for independent examination.

What does the plan mean for the Loxley valley?

For the Loxley valley, this means the countryside between Loxley, Stannington and the Peak District National Park will continue to be protected from inappropriate development if the Plan gets approval.

The river valley from Malin Bridge to the national park boundary at Damflask will remain Green Belt land.

Much of it will also be designated as a Local Wildlife Site following the city’s declaration of a Biodiversity Emergency in 2021.

The valley west of Damflask and Dungworth is part of Sheffield, but it lies within the national park. This area is subject to separate planning policies overseen by the Peak District National Park Authority.

Green Belt does not mean there can be no new development at all. But it would be allowed only in exceptional circumstances when there would be no harm to the countryside environment, (this is why a Planning Inspector threw out the proposed Hepworth site redevelopment two years ago).

Friends of the Loxley Valley supports the Sheffield Local Plan

The Friends of the Loxley Valley committee has decided to support the Local Plan in principle. We will now study it in more detail before submitting comments to the city council.

We would also like to hear what you think about the Plan. If you have views that you think we should bear in mind, please email us at

How you can take part in the Local Plan consultation process yourself

Anyone with an interest in the city’s future is entitled to submit comments on the Local Plan, so there is no reason why you should not take part yourself.

Friends of the Loxley Valley would encourage you to do this, especially if you have strong views about the future of the valley.

The deadline for comments is Monday, February 20th.

The draft Local Plan can be viewed online or in local libraries.

Sheffield City Council is also organising a series of public drop-in sessions.

The council has set up an online consultation portal with the dates of public consultation events. You can also use the portal to read and download all the Local Plan documents, consult an interactive map and register to post your comments:

Loxley valley extract from the Sheffield Local Plan interactive map

This extract from the council’s interactive map shows the Loxley valley. Light green indicates Green Belt land. Green diagonal hatching shows proposed Local Wildlife Sites. Grey indicates residential zones. The brown line is the national park boundary. Please see the map on the council’s online portal if you need more detail.

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A chance to have your say on the future of our Loxley valley Green Belt countryside

A chance to have your say on the future of our Loxley valley Green Belt countryside

Sheffield City Council is asking for our views on the future of our Green Belt countryside in the Loxley valley.

The council has published an ‘Issues and Options’ paper that will guide Sheffield’s approach to building the new houses it needs to provide homes for an expanding population.

Publishing the paper is the first step in a lengthy process to draw up the new Sheffield ‘Local Plan’.

The ‘Local Plan’ will be the blueprint for how the city will be developed over the next 15 years.

The Issues and Options paper sets out three stark choices for building in our Green Belt countryside. The council is now inviting your views on which of the options you prefer, and on all other aspects of the draft plan.

As we fight unwelcome plans for a 300-home township in the heart of the Loxley valley, we think it is vital that local people make their views known.

We are urging all Friends of the Loxley Valley members and supporters to have their say!

Three choices for building houses in the Green Belt

The three broad Green Belt choices facing the city are as follows:

  • Option A – almost no new houses in the Green Belt
  • Option B: 5,000 new houses in the Green Belt (which would be about an eighth of the new houses needed)
  • Option C – 10,000 new houses in the Green Belt (a quarter of the number required up to 2038).

The council acknowledges that a key message from the last consultation in 2015 was that people want countryside and Green Belt protected.

Friends of the Loxley Valley would certainly agree with that verdict. We will be studying the options in detail and making our views known as part of the consultation period.

How to have your say

The consultation period runs from Tuesday 1st September 2020 to Tuesday 13th October 2020.

The ‘Issues and Options’ paper can be read or downloaded from the Sheffield City Council website.

You can have your say by filling in an online questionnaire on the council website.

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Peak District National Park Authority opposes plans for Loxley valley township

Peak District National Park Authority opposes plans for Loxley valley township

The Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) has objected strongly to plans for a new township of up to 300 homes in the heart of the Loxley valley.

Developers Patrick Properties want to build on the site of the abandoned old factories below Damflask, on the edge of the Peak District.

The PDNPA voices serious concerns about the impact on the national park.

These concerns include carbon footprint, air pollution, public health, unsustainable car journeys, possible tree felling and the impact on biodiversity.

The park authority says Sheffield City Council has failed in its duty to consult over the impact on the Peak District.

It also says Patrick Properties claim wrongly to have consulted the national park about their plans.

“The applicant’s Statement of Community Involvement document states … that there has been direct engagement with the National Park Authority on this application,” says the PDNPA.

“This isn’t the case, and gives us cause for concern”

The PDNPA’s detailed concerns

The national park authority sets out its fears in a 2,000 word statement of objection.

It’s key concerns are as follows:

  • It says the developers and the council have failed to recognise the potential impact on the national park, even though the township would border the park boundary.
  • The PDNPA says it is “surprised” that Sheffield City Council is prepared to consider only an outline planning application. It says this means too much is left vague, to be agreed later between the applicant and council officers. “We consider this unacceptable for such a significant development in the green belt”.
  • There is uncertainty about how many trees will be felled. “This is not acceptable for a greenbelt site where tree cover is an integral part of the character”.
  • The development would do little to reduce carbon. Rather, it would increase polluting car journeys, harming air quality and public health in an already congested area.
  • New residents would be too dependent on car journeys. They would then try to avoid the notorious Malin Bridge bottleneck. This would encourage rat runs on small country roads.
  • Sustainable alternatives such as cycling are unrealistic because of hills and distance from the city centre.
  • The impact on the green belt is not justified by shortage of housing land elsewhere in the city.
  • The development would be in a priority corridor for woodland and wildlife, and the developers have produced no evidence that biodiversity would be protected.

MPs, councillors and and other organisations are also objecting

The PDNPA’s concerns follow detailed objections from the Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake and from the Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss.

Bradfield Parish Council are objecting too, as are local ward councillors in Stannington and Hillsborough.

Organisations objecting so far include CPRE South Yorkshire/Friends of the Peak District, the South Yorkshire Bat Group, Sheffield Friends of the Earth, Sheffield Climate Alliance, Sheffield Environmental, and the Walkley Green Party.

And at the time of writing, over 550 concerned local people have added their own objections. Thank you for your support! We’re so proud of our community!

You can object too!

If you share our concerns, please make your views known. Every single voice will make a difference!

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