Historic Wincobank site threatened for second time in six years

Residents are fighting for the council to block the development of 22 new houses on Wincobank Hill for the second time in six years.

If the application is accepted, the houses will be built on land that is widely believed to be the site of an ancient road known as the Roman Ridge.

Bridget Ingle, daughter of late boxing coach Brendan Ingle and a member of the Wincobank community, spoke at a council meeting to express her anger at another planning application being put forward.

She said: “We’re going through the whole process again. We’re really passionate about protecting this land that the planning officers seem to think is worthless to us and to Sheffield as a whole.”

The site of the Roman Ridge

An online petition objecting to the proposal received over 2,500 signatures in two weeks and included Coun Dawn Dale’s name.

Coun Dale said at the first community meeting about the houses that she felt offended on behalf of the residents and she would fully support their campaign.

Over 65 public comment objecting to the plans have also been made on the planning application online.

Coun Jack Scott, the Cabinet Member responsible for planning, said at the council meeting when the petition was handed in, that the application did not seem to be substantially better than last time.

He said: “It is an absolutely green and beautiful part of our city. I understand the frustration that is clearly quite deeply felt within the community.”

He added that it is important for the planning committee to follow through on standard procedures and they were not in a position to reject the proposal outright.

A planning application by Investates was successfully blocked by the community on the same land in 2012.

Officers of the council had originally written a report recommending the Planning Committee should approve the application but, unusually, they rejected both the advice and the planning application.

For an appeal to be considered, both Investates and the Wincobank Community had to submit information that had not already been heard to the government Planning Inspectorate.

The Wincobank Community were notified in writing in 2013 that the Planning Inspector had ruled in their favour and supported the council’s original decision to reject the proposal.

It is likely a similar process will be followed this time, depending on the decision of the Planning Committee.

David Green, Chair of the Friends of Wincobank Hill,spoke at the first community meeting about his upset at the possibility of the land being built on again.

He said: “The historical heritage of Wincobank Hill is paramount to us because our kids played there as we played there.

“I knew them trees up there, I watched them grow.”

The extended deadline for posting comments on the application portal close on 3rd December after which the Planning Committee will make their decision.