Disappointment as Hollin Busk inquiry decision gives go ahead to inappropriate housing
We were sorry to learn, in the same week as we celebrated our stunning victory at the Loxley inquiry, that the Inspector at the Hollin Busk inquiry had allowed the appeal, paving the way for new housing on beautiful fields on the edge of Stocksbridge, just metres from the boundary of the Green Belt.
We had campaigned on the case with the Friends of Hollin Busk for many years and had made a statement to the inquiry calling for the appeal to be dismissed. In summary, the Inspector found that impacts on landscape, local heritage and accessibility were insufficient to overcome the strong need for housing, especially as Sheffield was found to have insufficient housing supply.
There was double disappointment as the Inspector also found that most of the protective policies in the Sheffield development plan were so out of date as to carry little weight. This means that, until new policies are agreed (which is several years off happening), Sheffield will be very vulnerable to speculative greenfield development and probably in the Green Belt too. We hope Sheffield Council will be able to accelerate their plans to strengthen policies, otherwise we fear an onslaught of inappropriate housing, sadly.
Despite the loss, we salute the Friends of the Hollin Busk and the many local people, councillors and the local MP, who fought so hard for so long to stave off this application. It is a sad indictment of the parlous state of the planning system that they had to endure such an ultimately fruitless battle.