Loxley valley

Friends of the Loxley Valley launch ‘virtual’ leaflet drive to publicise fighting fund

Friends of the Loxley Valley launch ‘virtual’ leaflet drive to publicise fighting fund

Friends of the Loxley Valley have launched a ‘virtual’ leaflet drive to publicise our ‘Save Loxley valley’ fighting fund appeal.

As we write this, the Covid emergency is at its height. The Government’s chief medical officer has urged us to think very carefully every time we leave the house.

So we have shelved plans to ask our members to deliver thousands of leaflets around our community.

Instead we are making our latest campaign leaflet available for download on this website.

And we are asking everyone who supports us to help to spread the word.

How you can help us

We won’t repeat everything we’ve said in the leaflet. It will speak for itself, we hope.

Our aim is to help everyone locally to understand the challenge we face at the planning inquiry in April. And why we need to raise thousands of pounds to make our case!

Like our previous leaflets, it’s double sided. The first side doubles up as a poster for noticeboards and everyone’s windows. The second side updates things in more detail.

Please download it. Share it on social media. Email it to your personal contacts. Tell your family, friends and neighbours about it. Print a copy and post it in your window. Put a copy on your local noticeboard if we haven’t got there yet ourselves.

If you can think of other ideas, so much the better! We need to do all we can to spread the word so that supporters who can afford it can chip in to the fighting fund.

The Covid challenge

Patrick Properties submitted their planning application to build a new township on the old Hepworth site after the Covid crisis had begun.

Since then, we haven’t been able to hold a meeting to let people in the community talk to each other.

We haven’t been able to sit down in a room together to plan our campaign.

And we haven’t been able to go to the offices of our councillors and MPs to discuss our concerns.

We were not able to go to the Town Hall for the usual planning meeting and to lobby for support.

Now we face a ‘virtual’ planning inquiry in April, and our ability to communicate with everyone is constrained.

But with your help we hope we can continue to spread the message. The support has been humbling and amazing so far. Thank you!

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‘Why have Sheffield City Council sent me a Loxley valley planning letter?’

‘Why have Sheffield City Council sent me a Loxley valley planning letter?’

‘Why did Sheffield City Council sent me a Loxley valley planning letter just before Christmas?’

It’s a good question, and one that many people around the Loxley valley will have been asking as this official letter arrived with the Christmas cards at the end of last year.

So we’ve posted this web page to try to explain, and to provide some guidance on how you might want to respond.

Patrick Properties have appealed against the council’s refusal of planning permission

Sheffield City Council refused planning permission for a township of up to 300 homes on the old ‘Hepworth’ brickworks site in the Loxley valley.

The developers, Patrick Properties Strategic Land, are appealing against that decision.

They hope to persuade a Planning Inspector that the council got it wrong, and that the decision should be overturned.

They will present their case to a public planning inquiry starting on Monday, April 12th. It is likely to last for ten days.

The council will fight the appeal. They will present their own evidence, arguing they applied planning policies correctly. They want the refusal to stand.

Friends of the Loxley Valley intend to support the council. We hope to present our own evidence too. We think a huge unsustainable housing scheme would be disastrous for the Loxley valley.

So, back to the question: ‘Why have I got this letter?’

You will have received the letter if you made your views known to the council before the original planning decision.

Over 900 local people and organisations objected to the planning application and wrote to the Sheffield planners to air their concerns.

The council has written to you now so that YOUR views can be made known to the planning inquiry if you want this to happen.

You can do this in two ways.

Firstly, if you are happy with your original objection, you do not need to do anything. The council will pass your objection on to the Planning Inspector. He will read it, and he will take it into account with all the other evidence.

Can I make additional points to the Planning Inspector?

Yes. If you want to add to your original objection, you can do that too. This is the second way of making your views known.

We have drafted a guidance note to explain how you can do that, and how to make sure your views are taken into account.

But you must now act quickly! The deadline for representations is Wednesday, January 20th.

You may also want to read the detailed Statement of Case that forms the basis of the appeal by Patrick Properties. We think many of their arguments are weak, and we intend to challenge them at the inquiry.

You can download both documents here:

Can I make my views known if I didn’t object to the original planning application?

Yes! Everybody has the democratic right to make their views known to the Planning Inspector.

It is not too late to set out your concerns. A huge housing development would affect all our lives locally, for example through the impact on local roads and services.

If you are worried about this, you have the right to make your case heard.

But if you do write, try to set down evidence to support your fears. For example, if you feel Loxley Road is already carrying too much traffic, set out your experiences and concerns.

Please see our guidance link in the previous section of this post.

Please help us by donating to our Fighting Fund now

Friends of the Loxley Valley is run entirely by community volunteers. We’re happy to provide the guidance and information on this website free of charge.

But we will need expert professional help so that we can present strong evidence at the planning inquiry.

We need to raise thousands of pounds so that we can pay for professional planning experts. They will help us to prepare and present our case.

The more we can raise; the stronger we hope our case will be. And the more we raise, the more professional expertise and representation we can secure.

We and our campaign partners CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire have set up a fighting fund appeal to raise the money.

Thank you! We know how hard everyone’s finances are pushed at the moment. But every donation, however small, will really help us on our way!

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Friends of the Loxley Valley launch planning appeal fighting fund

Friends of the Loxley Valley launch planning appeal fighting fund

Friends of the Loxley Valley have launched a fundraising drive to fight plans for the Loxley valley township.

Our ‘Save Loxley valley’ fighting fund is being run jointly with our campaign partners CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire.

We are appealing for donations to help us ensure local concerns are voiced effectively at a planning inquiry hearing later this year.

If you’d like to donate, you can give money NOW using the online site GoFundMe:

Why do we need the money?

The fighting fund will help us to prepare for a public planning inquiry later this year.

Developers Patrick Properties have appealed against Sheffield City Council’s refusal of planning permission.

They want to build up to 300 homes on the redundant Hepworth refractory works at the valley’s heart..

A Planning Inspector will hear their case at an inquiry beginning on Monday 12th April.

The hearing is likely to be held online, and will last for an estimated ten days.

Sheffield City Council are fighting the appeal, arguing there were good grounds for refusing planning permission.

We support the council, but we also want the Planning Inspector to be in no doubt about how strongly local people feel.

What will the money pay for?

Your donations will help us to pay for professional planning experts and legal representation to help us to fight our case.

And the more you give, the greater our chances of winning and defending the city’s democratic decision!

We believe that the Loxley valley deserves a better solution than unsustainable mass housing.

Even a small donation will help us on our way. Every single pound donated WILL make a difference and will help us to save the Loxley valley from urban sprawl.

How to donate

This link will take you to the GoFundMe account where you can donate money now 

You can donate using a PayPal account, or by using a debit or credit card.

The fighting fund money is being held in a secure ring-fenced charity bank account by our campaign partners CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire.

If you are a taxpayer, please tick the ‘Gift Aid’ box when you make your donation. This means the charity can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give.

It won’t cost you any extra, but it will help your money to go further and to work harder!

If you would prefer to donate by cheque, please make your cheque payable to CPRE PDSY. Please write ‘Loxley valley appeal’ on the back of the cheque, and send it to the following address:

CPRE PDSY,
Victoria Hall,
37 Stafford Road.
Sheffield,
S2 2SF.

Thank you so much for your support!

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Sheffield City Council issues clean-up orders to Loxley valley landowners

Sheffield City Council issues clean-up orders to Loxley valley landowners

Sheffield City Council has ordered the owners of the old Hepworth refractory works in the Loxley valley to clear illegally dumped waste and to keep vermin under control.

The council’s Environmental Protection Service has posted ‘Enviro-crime scene’ notices at the factory entrance on Storrs Bridge Lane.

The notices are dated Tuesday, 27th October. They tell the landowners they have 42 days from then to clear the waste.

Then they must then inspect the site once a month to keep it waste-free.

The landowners must also remove materials that could provide ‘harbourage or food’ for rats and mice.

The council served the notices on Patrick Properties, who own the old factories, and on the owners of the adjacent Claremont House.

Claremont House is the semi-derelict detached house that was formerly the social club for factory workers.

The council’s actions follow repeated waste dumping on the sites.

The notices list the following items of waste:

  • Electrical and white goods
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Construction/demolition waste
  • Glass
  • Food waste
  • General household and commercial waste

The council warns the landowners they could face fines of up to £5,000 if they fail to comply with the notices.

 

Some of the waste that has accumulated on the site in the Loxley valley
Some of the waste that has accumulated on the site in the Loxley valley

The notices that have been served on Patrick Properties in the Loxley valley
The notices that have been served on Patrick Properties in the Loxley valley

The notices that have been served on the Claremont House owners in the Loxley valley
The notices that have been served on the Claremont House owners in the Loxley valley
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Developers to appeal against Loxley valley housing decision

Developers to appeal against Loxley valley housing decision

Developers Patrick Properties have said they intend to appeal against refusal of planning permission for their Loxley valley housing scheme.

The company’s agents, Avison Young, have written to Sheffield City Council giving them formal notification of the appeal process.

They say the appeal is likely to be submitted on Wednesday, 4th November.

Then a formal public planning inquiry is likely to follow in the new year.

The letter to the council estimates the length of the inquiry at ten days.

The appeal follows refusal of planning permission for a township of up to 300 homes on the old Hepworth refractory site, as reported earlier on this website

The planning application attracted widespread opposition, leading to over 900 objections from local people and organisations.

Friends of the Loxley Valley’s reaction

Friends of the Loxley Valley are disappointed to hear of the appeal.

Now we must wait to learn more about the company’s grounds for appeal.

Once we know more, we will work closely with campaign partners including CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire to give voice to local concerns at the appeal hearing.

We and the CPRE will monitor developments closely and will do our best to keep the community informed as things progress.

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Sheffield Planning Committee REJECTS Loxley Valley township application

Sheffield Planning Committee REJECTS Loxley Valley township application

Sheffield city councillors have today REJECTED plans for a township of up to 300 homes in the Loxley valley.

The council’s Planning and Highways Committee voted unanimously to refuse permission for redevelopment of the old Hepworth refractory works.

The old factories have stood empty in the Loxley valley bottom since Hepworth plc ended production in the 1990s.

New owners Patrick Properties wanted permission to demolish the factories and replace them with a township of up to 300 homes.

But the 12 councillors at today’s planning meeting voted unanimously to reject the plans.

They backed their officers’ report recommending refusal of outline planning permission.

The officers’ report set out strong reasons for refusal. They said:

  • The proposal would damage the openness of Sheffield’s Green Belt and harm the special character of the Loxley valley;
  • The development would be unsustainable. It had too few on-site services to support it, and existing local services would be inaccessible;
  • Building on a flood plain was not justified by wider sustainability benefits to the local community;
  • There was too little information to judge the impact on biodiversity, landscape, climate change, design quality, pollution and the remediation of derelict land.

Friends of the Loxley Valley welcome the verdict

The decision follows a long campaign by Friends of the Loxley Valley.

We regretted having to fight the application, and would have preferred to work with developers for a consensual solution.

Some of the old factory buildings are derelict and do need attention.

But much of the site has returned to nature, and some of the buildings remain in use.

And the site is in an exceptionally sensitive place, in an area of special character and on the boundary of the Peak District National Park.

We would like to thank everybody who took the time and trouble to object to the planning application.

Objectors included our two local MPs, local councillors, the Peak District National Park Authority, CPRE South Yorkshire, the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, and numerous other local groups.

And around 900 local people also wrote to the council to express their concerns.

What happens now?

The developers may choose to appeal against the decision. They also have the option of going back to the council with a more acceptable proposal.

We hope they will choose to work with local people to do something green, sustainable and outstanding, in keeping with this unique Green Belt site.

But for now, we’re very pleased and relieved. We’re going to raise a glass or two to celebrate, and we hope you do too. Cheers!

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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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Countryside charity CPRE South Yorkshire condemns plans for Loxley valley township

Countryside charity CPRE South Yorkshire condemns plans for Loxley valley township

Our campaign partners CPRE South Yorkshire have posted a scathing objection to plans for a new township of 300 homes in the heart of the Loxley valley.

They say the township proposed by developers Patrick Properties would damage Sheffield’s precious Green Belt countryside.

And they warn it would transform the beauty and openness of a much-loved valley on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

The developers claim the new township on the site of long-abandoned old factories would create a ‘sustainable’ new settlement.

But the CPRE dismiss this claim as ‘laughable’. They say it would be remote from the local services needed by hundreds of new residents.

They say it would swamp local roads with extra cars. This would add to congestion and air pollution at a time of climate emergency.

The CPRE urge Sheffield councillors to throw the plans out

The comments from CPRE South Yorkshire are contained in a detailed objection to the Sheffield City Council planning department.

The council’s planning committee must decide whether to approve the planning application. CPRE South Yorkshire say it should be thrown out.

Their main points are as follows:

  • The township would encroach on open countryside and would breach both local and national Green Belt policies
  • It would be remote, isolated and unsustainable, pushing up dependence on car journeys at a time of climate emergency
  • The site is not designated for housing and is not needed for housing, as Sheffield is now building enough houses elsewhere
  • It would do little to meet local demand for affordable housing
  • The township would urbanise a quiet site on the edge of the Peak District National Park and would damage nature conservation and biodiversity

The CPRE also say the plans are far too vague, as the developers are seeking only ‘outline’ planning permission.

They warn the developers would then sell the land to housebuilders, who would not be tied to detailed planning approval.

Who are CPRE South Yorkshire?

CPRE South Yorkshire are the local branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, otherwise known as the ‘countryside charity’.

Their aim is to make the countryside a better place for everyone to live, work and enjoy.

CPRE South Yorkshire have a sister organisation, Friends of the Peak District, who work to safeguard Britain’s first national park.

The Peak District is of course on our doorstep here in the Loxley valley!

We have worked closely with CPRE South Yorkshire and Friends of the Peak District for many years.

Our joint goal is to celebrate and safeguard our beautiful valley and to protect it from damaging development.

The CPRE is an independent charity. It has a small team in Sheffield who are all experienced and passionate experts on the city’s countryside.

If you share our joint goals, we would urge you to support the charity in its work.

You can make a very real difference by making a modest donation. Or perhaps you might like to become a member?

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Friends of the Loxley Valley deliver thousands of ‘No Township!’ leaflets

Friends of the Loxley Valley deliver thousands of ‘No Township!’ leaflets

Friends of the Loxley Valley have printed thousands of leaflets to let people know that there is now more time to comment on plans for a new township in the heart of the valley.

Our members are now delivering the leaflets to every home and business in the valley, and to neighbouring areas like Hillsborough and Walkley.

The leaflets give guidance on how to make your views known to the Sheffield City Council planning committee.

They explain why there is more time to comment – the official statutory consultation period now ends on July 30th.

And they summarise progress in the #NoLoxleyTownship campaign so far.

Nearly 800 individuals and organisations have objected at the time of writing this post.

They include the Peak District National Park Authority, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Rivelin Valley Conservation Group, plus our two MPs and local councillors.

The leaflet is also available electronically. It includes links that you can use to make comments to the planners.

You can download it here. Please feel free to share it widely if you know people further afield who might help with our campaign.

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Deadline for township comments is extended AGAIN to 30th July

Deadline for township comments is extended AGAIN to 30th July

STOP PRESS: The planning department has now completed a new set of site notices around the Loxley valley. So far as we can tell, they have updated them ALL with the date when the last notice was posted.

The photograph above shows one of the new notices at Rowell Bridge. It’s slightly smeared by the rain, but you can see that the new date of posting is 30th June.

This replaces the notice posted a little earlier on 24th June, (see our last news post).

The notice wording makes it clear: you now have 30 days from 30th June to submit comments on the proposed new Loxley valley township.

So if we’ve calculated correctly the NEW new deadline is now Thursday 30th July.

The planning application for the old refractory works would mark a huge change for life in the Loxley valley. If you have not yet commented, we would urge you to do so.

For details on HOW to do this, and WHY we think the new notices have gone up, please see our previous news post.

Do you want to know more about the planning application?

Developers Patrick Properties have proposed a township of up to 300 homes. We have summarised their plans, and our concerns, in an earlier news post on this website. You can also view the full planning application, and all associated documentation, on the Sheffield City Council website. The reference number for the planning application is 20/01301/OUT

Would you like to make your views known to the planners?

If you feel ready to make your views known to the planners, you can do so by posting a comment on the council’s website.

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