“Demolition is something we haven’t entirely ruled out” said council officer Georgina Parkin last night, when she spoke to Gleadless Valley residents about plans to improve the area.
The ‘master plan’ will be presented to the government late next year. It will provide a list of costed suggestions and it is hoped the government will provide the funding to act on these.
According to Ms Parkin, who is a housing officer at Sheffield City Council and is heading the master plan team, a similar scheme in Norfolk Park involved a lot of housing clearance. However, she added that the private housing built in its place was at least 20% below the market level.
Despite being unable to rule out destruction in Gleadless Valley, Ms Parkin – addressing a meeting of the Gleadless Valley TARA (Tenants and Residents Association) – said: “major demolition is not driving this process.”
The government granted Sheffield council £500,000 earlier this year to produce the master plan. However, this money will not pay for any improvements directly.
Jane Burtenshaw, a resident of Gleadless Valley, said: “One is a little dismayed. It would be nice if there was some immediate cash to dedicate to this unquestionably lovely Valley.
“I would think that it may be fairly matchless in the UK as housing estates go, in terms of how organically beautiful it is.”
Concerning the likelihood of further government investment to act on the suggestions of the master plan, Ms Parkin said: “we can’t guarantee that there will be funding.”
The first stage of producing the master plan has involved getting the thoughts of Gleadless Valley Residents on the area. A survey is available to complete online until 3 December, and has also been handed out door-to-door in some places.
The council will, in the Spring, work with shareholders and service providers in the area, to devise solutions to the problems raised by residents.