Uncategorized

Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield press for improved active travel routes near Hillsborough

Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield press for improved active travel routes near Hillsborough

The Upper Don Trail Trust and Cycle Sheffield have joined forces to press for radically improved active travel routes near Hillsborough football ground.

We’re urging Sheffield City Council planners to insist on segregated cycleways and safer road crossings as part of a new retail development.

Developers Jaguar Estates have submitted revised plans for a retail centre bordering Penistone Road and Herries Road.

They want to build a mixed-use scheme including shops, warehouses, restaurants, a builders merchants and car repair centre.

The scheme would regenerate a largely derelict triangle of land between Penistone Road, Herries Road and Herries Road South.

It replaces an earlier scheme that received planning permission last year.

The original planning approval required the developers to provide a Travel Plan that would “encourage and facilitate less car dependent living”.

But we and Cycle Sheffield argue the developers have failed to deliver on this. We’re now urging a much stronger commitment to sustainable and active travel.

We are also pressing for restoration and public access to a historic waterway (the Wardsend Goyt) and rundown woodland at the north end of the site.

Well-designed and segregated cycleways would improve the Penistone Road cycle route into the city centre, and would link to a new section of the Upper Don Trail now being planned from Herries Road to Hillfoot.

So, what do we want to happen next?

We have objected to the revised planning application unless the following improvements are incorporated as specific conditions:

  • The Penistone Road cycleway widened and segregated to a consistent five metres along the whole site frontage
  • The footway on the Herries Road frontage to be widened to a consistent five metre width to accommodate a segregated cycleway as part of the site restoration, not simply noted as a future “improvement line” for others to provide
  • The new vehicle accesses from the site to Penistone Road and Herries Road to be redesigned as continuous cycle-footways or ‘blended crossings’ which prioritise walking and cycling over exiting vehicles
  • The traffic lights at the Penistone Road/Herries Road South junction to be converted to a Toucan Crossing at the expense of the developer and as a condition of the use commencing
  • Details of how the woodland and mill goyt area is to be restored, what public access/amenity is to be provided and who is to be responsible for its ongoing management and funding should be provided before planning permission is granted not as an afterthought
  • The development will need to include enhanced car parking restrictions for this area.

What is our active travel message to the developers and the council?

Simon Ogden, chairman of Upper Don Trail Trust, said: “We welcome the regeneration of this long derelict site but much has changed in the world over the last year.

“Developers now need to adjust to the new normal of prioritising active travel such as walking and cycling. It’s no longer acceptable just to focus on car access.”

Dexter Johnstone, of Cycle Sheffield, said: “Sheffield City Council need to ensure this development enhances rather than degrades cycling and walking provision in the area which is already patchy.

“They can do this easily by applying conditions which require the development to meet modern active travel standards.

“It is vital that all new developments in our city are designed to enable more people to travel actively.”

The Jaguar Estates development site viewed along Penistone Road North
Cyclists on Penistone Road currently have to share the pavement with pedestrians. We are pressing for a properly segregated cycleway
The existing cycle route runs along the cluttered Penistone Road pavement. We would like to see a properly segregated cycleway built alongside it.
The Jaguar development site viewed from Herries Road
The development site viewed across Wardsend Goyt from Herries Road, with Hillsborough football ground behind. This litter-strewn verge could make way for a properly segregated cycleway
View of Wardsend Goyt and rundown woodland at the north end of the Jaguar development site
The historic Wardsend Goyt runs through littered and unloved woodland at the north end of the site. This could become a beautiful new public open space.
Posted by UpperDonTrailTrust, 0 comments
Trust warns that Upper Don Trail may be at risk as house builders seek to cut costs in Deepcar

Trust warns that Upper Don Trail may be at risk as house builders seek to cut costs in Deepcar

The Upper Don Trail Trust has objected strongly to proposals by a national house builder to scale down plans for the new riverside active travel route at Deepcar.

House building giant Bloor Homes is building over 420 new homes on the previously derelict old Steins brickworks site alongside the River Don.

Bloor have so far cleared the land and completed a new road bridge across the river to Manchester Road.

The Trust welcomes reclamation of this brownfield land, for which Bloor have already had permission for several years.

But Bloor have now submitted new plans to Sheffield City Council asking to scale down the riverside cycle-footway.

They argue that reclaiming the site is proving unexpectedly challenging, meaning they have too little space for the active travel route as originally agreed.

The Trust are unconvinced. We think the riverside trail is more vital than ever as Sheffield tries to tackle the accelerating climate emergency.

We urge Bloor not to view the Upper Don Trail as a disposable, marginal element of their housing scheme.

Rather, we think they should view the Upper Don Trail as a key asset, making it possible for the new community to travel sustainably in their beautiful riverside environment.

The Trust’s detailed objections

The Trust has submitted detailed objections to the following aspects of Bloor’s revised proposals:

  • the proposed reduction of most of the riverside cycle-footway from 3m to 2m or less. This public route should be seen as one of the most important assets of the development 
  • the proposed diversion of a cycling route onto the narrow Station Road which has no footways or cycle track and is now proposed as a possible bus route
  • the omission of a previously promised footbridge over the river to Manchester Road, connecting the new housing and riverside trail to bus stops and access from the south
  • a new river bank consisting of towering retaining walls of raw concrete at some places as high as the roofline of a two storey house with no attempt to naturalise or green them
  • no apparent access to the river from the top of this wall for amenity, fishing or maintenance

What we would like to happen instead

Bloor’s revised application reveals that will they will save at least £5.1m in landfill and construction costs through their new submission.

The Trust argues that at least some of these savings should be invested in protecting the Upper Don Trail and mitigating the impact of Bloor’s revised layout.

This site has lain derelict for 20 years, blighting the riverside gateway to Deepcar and Stocksbridge. We want to see it reclaimed and developed for much-needed homes.

But in the new circumstances of accelerating climate breakdown, we think every development must now prioritise walking and cycling over car travel to a much greater degree.

We have suggested changes that will protect the route and design of the Upper Don Trail, making it possible for walkers and cyclists to travel together safely and away from busy roads.

We think these changes will actually improve the attractiveness and saleability of the new homes by making the most of this beautiful river setting.

Our proposed changes will improve sustainable connectivity to local shops, workplaces and countryside, making Bloor’s houses more attractive to potential buyers.

How you can help

We are currently waiting to hear when Bloor’s proposals will go before the Sheffield City Council Planning and Highways Committee.

In the meantime, if you support our case you can still make your views known to the councillors who will have to decide whether to approve Bloor’s plans.

You can view the plans by logging on the city council’s planning portal using the link below. We have also included a link to our own detailed objection:

Bloor Homes Deepcar site
Proposed Upper Don Trail routes at the Bloor Homes Deepcar site

Posted by UpperDonTrailTrust, 0 comments