Sheffield’s Green Belt has never been more valuable

26th Oct 2017

Call for new approach to protect Sheffield’s Green Belt

Following the release of new national data showing increasing threats to green belt from private housing, we have set out a blueprint for providing the homes that Sheffield needs but without needlessly sacrificing beautiful local countryside.

As the campaign group which was responsible for mapping and advocating a green belt for Sheffield in 1937, we have now published a radical vision, aimed at ensuring Sheffield gets the right development in the right place and thus protecting the countryside assets that Sheffield, as the Outdoor City depends on. The report highlights three critical tests:

Firstly Sheffield should only grow outwards if it is already making the best use of urban opportunities, including denser development and use of brownfield sites. Second, any proposed changes to the Green Belt must deliver truly special and sustainable development that meets real housing need, especially in respect of affordable and social housing. And lastly, great care must be taken in re-developing brownfield sites in the Green Belt, such as the Hepworth’s site in the Loxley Valley.
    
“Sheffield’s Green Belt has never been more valuable to us, nor has it been under greater threat since we first fought for its protection in the 1930s” commented Andrew Wood, planning officer and co-author of the report, “A crazy numbers game, imposed by central Government, and uninspiring ‘Lego-land’ developments by the big house-builders risk losing all that is special about our local countryside. Something has to change and change quickly and we look to the City Council and its planners to take up the challenge. We hope this report will spur everyone to understand there are win-win solutions possible”.

We recognise that new homes are vital but both this report and national research shows that current house building plans will do very little to address the affordable housing crisis faced by many families and young people. The only people set to benefit from future release of Green Belt land will be landowners and the big house-builders, not communities in need of decent, affordable housing.

For more information contact Julie Gough at julie@cprepeakandsyorks.org.uk or (0114) 279 2655. Andrew Wood can be contacted on 07735 064651