Planning appeal overturns rejection for 72 houses to be built on green space

Planning development for Owlthorpe Fields

Owlthorpe Field Action Group  has lost its campaign to stop 72 houses being built  green space land.

A planning decision made by Sheffield City Council to refuse permission for Avant Homes to build on part of Owlthorpe Fields was overturned through a planning appeal.

The initial decision made by Sheffield City Council trying to reject the planning application made by Avant Homes was appealed and was successful in gaining permission to build on the land.

The main parties present at the appeal were Avant Homes and Sheffield City Council who were defending the refusal. Topics that were covered included ecology, trees, design and affordable housing.

Owlthorpe Fields Action Group (OAG) who are a non-political community group set up to stop the destruction of Owlthorpe Fields. They were also present and represented by Dr Nicola Rivers, Living Landscape Development Manager at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

Their argument was that the site which was originally greenbelt farmland and had been left to re-vegetate was now of sufficient ecological value to be designated as a Local Wildlife Site.

The group speak out about the importance for a wild space for people to use to go on walks, runs and other recreational activities. This area provides both physical and mental health benefits and the majority of local residents oppose the development.

Owlthorpe Field Action Group said: “Many of us have only now realised, during these days of lockdown, the true value of Owlthorpe Fields. Where would we have walked and enjoyed being out in the fresh air, if not for this green space?”

The Planning Inspector issued his decision in March of this year. He recognised the ecological value of the land and has agreed with Avant Housing that this could be mitigated on and off-site.

This housing scheme will only be developed on one significant area of the fields. The future of the other two areas has yet to be determined.

OAG understands the need for more housing but disagree with the use of land that is rich with wildlife and close to the hearts of local residents. During today’s trying times, safe and prospering green spaces are needed more than ever.

 

Written by Ella McDermott

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