Yorkshire community loses fight to save treasured greenfield land after planning inspector overrules council decision

Hollin Busk FieldsHollin Busk Fields
Hollin Busk Fields
A planning inspector has overruled a Sheffield Council decision, granting developers outline permission to build on greenfield land following a lengthy campaign by the local community.

Hallam Land Management will now be able to push ahead with its plans to build up to 85 houses on Hollin Busk fields, at the junction between Carr Road and Hollin Busk Lane, Deepcar.

These plans were overwhelmingly rejected by the council’s planning and highways committee last year, who voted 12 to one against, on the basis that it was at odds with it’s policy to regenerate brownfield land first.

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The company appealed to the planning inspectorate which made its ruling following a five-day planning inquiry in late June.

The Friends of Hollin Busk, which fought to save the site for more than four years, said it was “extremely disappointed”.

Dr Peter Morgan, chair of the Friends, said: “Everyone understands the need to provide more housing for a growing population, it is equally clear that these new homes need to be in the right place, and building dozens of homes on an unsustainable site is not the answer.

“We are of course very disappointed with the decision, but we are also proud of the case we made to the inquiry and grateful for the support we have enjoyed from the Stocksbridge and Deepcar community. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that the final shape of this development is appropriate and sympathetic to the local area.”

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More than 520 residents originally opposed the plans, including Stocksbridge Labour councillors, Conservative MP Miriam Cates, Stocksbridge Town Council, Bolstertone Community Group and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Councillor Richard Crowther, Mayor of Stocksbridge, said: “It will be a great disappointment to many local residents that permission has been granted to develop this section of Hollin Busk, which has for decades been protected in planning regulations. Hundreds of local people voiced their concern about this development, as did our representatives on the Town Council, City Council and in Parliament.”

The planning inspector attached more than 30 planning conditions to the outline permission, covering issues such as coal mining risk assessments, flood prevention and archaeological appraisals as well as conditions related to ecology and wildlife.

The community said it will continue to take a keen interest in the proposals as they develop.

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Coun Crowther added: “Whilst we are resolute in our conviction that the wrong decision has been made in this appeal, we are appreciative of the courtesy extended to us as third parties by the main parties’ advocates and by the inspector himself.

"This decision doesn’t give the developers carte blanche however, and any detailed plans for the site will be the subject of further applications and must themselves comply with planning guidance.”

It was the third planning inquiry Sheffield Council faced in recent months, following Owlthorpe Fields and Hepworth’s factory site in Loxley Valley.

The planning inspector for the Owlthorpe Fields housing development overturned the council’s decision to refuse it and the decision to refuse a housing estate with up to 300 homes in Loxley Valley was upheld.

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