University homes plan would open up city garden to public

DEVELOPER Miller Homes, which is hoping to gain planning approval to knock down Sheffield University's former Tapton halls of residence and build almost 120 homes in its place, says the scheme will open up a new garden for people in Broomhill.

Currently, Sheffield University's landscaped "experimental garden", which includes a variety of trees and vegetation, is closed off to the public.

However, if the developer is successful in gaining consent for the scheme, footpaths would be put in to link the garden with Hoole Road, Taptonville Road and Crookes Road.

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A previous application from Miller Homes was refused three years ago and again by a planning inspector on appeal, on the grounds that the new houses could have an adverse effect on the Broomhill Conservation Area. This time, however, Sheffield Council's planning officers have recommended that the plans be approved.

Howard Mee, land and planning director at Miller Homes Yorkshire, said: "We are pleased that our close work with the council has produced a scheme that council officers are happy to recommend for approval.

"We have now addressed the inspector's objection to the positioning of 12 properties on Taptonville Road which have

now been replaced with four houses."

He added: "The proposal opens up an area for use as public open space which has not previously been available to the community.

"It also preserves a collection of trees and plants on site as part of this open space and for the first time provides the public access to these."

The plans have so far attracted nearly 300 objections over two rounds of public consultation.

A decision on the proposals will be made at a planning committee meeting on Monday next week.