Cottages conversion at derelict factory

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DERELICT factory buildings which have been described as a “problem” by people living in a rural valley on the edge of Sheffield are to be converted into new cottages under a scheme to be examined by planners next week.

Loxley Works, in Low Matlock Lane, Loxley, Sheffield, covers an area of about three acres and planners say the site is made up of a “redundant and derelict factory building and associated hardstanding areas”.

Records show the site’s industrial workshop dates back to around 1900 but it is in “very poor condition” according to experts, with signs of subsidence and partially collapsed roofs and beams across the entire site.

Sheffield-based architect Coda Studios has applied to Sheffield Council for planning permission for the partial demolition and refurbishment of the existing industrial building to provide two and three bedroom cottages.

A local heritage group, the 
Loxley Valley Protection Society and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have supported the scheme, although the CPRE has raised concerns over the high number of parking spaces provided.

Some neighbours said the development should be closely monitored because it is on the edge of the green belt, while members of the local parish council have supported the project “in principle”.

In a report, planning officers say: “Although the building only dates back to the early 20th Century, it is considered that the building is worthy of retention, and more so, the site has been historically linked to industrial use since the late 17th Century.

“Rather than its complete redevelopment, it is considered that converting the building, albeit in part only should be supported in principle.”

The plans are expected to be approved by members of Sheffield Council’s west and north planning and highways area board at a meeting at Sheffield Town Hall next Tuesday.