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The (Draft) Sheffield Local Plan – November 2022 – Initial Comments

Tomo Thompson
By Tomo Thompson
2nd November 2022


(Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee 3 Nov 2022).

Endorsement of the Publication Draft Sheffield Local Plan (‘The Draft Sheffield Plan’)

Initial Comments CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire

  1. Background

Sheffield City Council have just published a preliminary version of it’s Draft Sheffield Plan which once endorsed by Full Council will be the basis of a period of Statutory public consultation early in 2023.

The new plan will guide the future of the city by setting out the vision and policies for how and where development will take place up until 2039.

The Publication Draft Sheffield Plan includes several documents:

Part 1: Vision, Spatial Strategy, Sub-Area Policies and Site Allocations.

Part 2: Development Management Policies and Implementation.

Annex A: Site Allocations.

Annex B: Parking Guidelines.

Key Diagram.

Policies Map (digital map only)

  1. Response

The Draft Plan includes a vast amount of strategic and local site detail supported by many background documents and evidence. CPRE-PDSY will scrutinise this, working with local communities and partner organisations to provide a full response once the public consultation commences.

At this stage, and in support of the Council making final decisions on the Draft Plan to be published, we offer this early support and comment:

  • We strongly endorse the Councils overall strategic approach which is for a compact sustainable City, that meets its housing and employment land requirements within the current urban area, and largely on brownfield sites. This will protect the City’s cherished green space, biodiversity and countryside, support more sustainable modes of transport, maximise the use of existing services and infrastructure, enliven and improve the City Centre, and help tackle the challenges of the Climate Crisis.
  • We recognise that this approach will be challenged, potentially most strongly by those seeking the allocation of large tranches of easy to develop unsustainable greenfield housing sites. We will support the Council working with partner organisations and local communities through the Examination process for the Draft Plan to secure a final Adopted Plan that upholds this approach and moves the City to carbon neutrality in line with the Council’s 2030 target.
  • There is a significant need for new housing in Sheffield and this urgently needs to include more affordable housing than is currently being achieved. The quality and variety of homes needs to be higher too. We applaud the Council’s ‘Capacity Led’ approach which reflects local circumstances including the City’s constrained geography and valued green environment, but still seeks to deliver sufficient housing to meet the City’s economic growth ambitions and more than sufficient land for that which housebuilders realistically can and will deliver. The constraints of the City’s size, and other important policy needs, together with a sufficiency of housing land across the Sheffield City Region make arbitrary housing need impositions both unnecessary and undeliverable.
  • We support the Council’s determination to deliver more affordable housing, through a modest uplift in the requirements being placed on housebuilders. Regrettably this will be limited by viability and not be enough. The Government needs to provide substantially more support for Councils to deliver the affordable housing that people urgently need.
  • We support the proposals to increase carbon reduction requirements for new housing in stages to meet neutrality by 2030. But again there is only so much that Local Authorities can do on their own. Government needs to take stronger ownership and require faster change through Building Regulations to help tackle the Climate Emergency.
  • The Draft Plan highlights the need for a high quality of built development and urban and green spaces. These together with supporting services and infrastructure will be essential to create a more liveable and enjoyable City which is compact and sustainable, and an emphasis on the quality of design is needed.
  • We strongly endorse the Councils retention of the Green Belt, and accept removal of current noted anomalies, and the release of the brownfield and derelict Norton Aerodrome (we want to check that the boundary proposed here is appropriate). The importance of cherished greenspace and countryside on peoples doorsteps is of increasing value for people’s well being, and for tackling Climate Change.
  • We have not yet scrutinised all the local proposal maps and policy allocations, but we strongly support the retention of additional greenspace at Owlthorpe that the local community has long fought for. Similarly the protection of some remaining greenspace at Hollin Busk is welcome, and the partial allocation of the site at Wood Royd Lane as local ‘urban greenspace’ so that it must be retained is recognition of the site’s environmental value and it’s importance to local people. But we consider that the whole site should be allocated as a Local Greenspace. Other important Green Belt sites that have been subject to unwarranted pressure for housing development, across the City, are to continue to be more strongly protected by virtue of the City now having an up-to-date Local Plan

We look forward to meeting with Sheffield City Council Councillors, staff, other stakeholders and community representatives In the coming months to discuss the Plan.