New multi-million pound development for Sheffield Ski Village may mean New Age travellers will have to leave

A £22.5m development plan has been announced to transform Sheffield’s derelict Ski Village.

Sheffield City Council announced EXTREME as the lead developer which will bring the site back to life after being burnt down five years ago.

This comes just a week after the New Age travellers living next to the site were spared eviction in court, as the case was adjourned until February 2018. The community has been using land next to the Ski Village as home for more than 13 years.

EXTREME, a global sports company, will re-open Sheffield’s once-famous ski slopes alongside an extreme sports centre which will include an indoor sky diving facility.

The complex will have world-class leisure facilities and there are hopes it will become an international hub for action sports enthusiasts.  The Ski Village will also offer E-Gaming and a virtual-reality centre as well as bars, restaurants and retail spaces.

The development, which is scheduled to open in 2019, will create about 100 new full-time jobs.

Travellers living on the site are unsure how the plans will affect them. Wayne Atkinson, a member of the community, said their space was separate to the Ski Village. He added: “We’ve said to the council we would like to keep the site that’s on Wallace Road given that it’s been there for some 12 years or so.”

Mr Atkinson said that the community was planning to try and move vehicles further down the hill “so we’re not an eyesore”.

Roy Harrington has lived on the traveller site for about 10 years and thinks the renovation means they’ll have to leave, but added: “There’s a lot of people that can’t move or they’ve got local connections.” He said some children go to school locally and a lot of people wanted to stay because of work.

 

 

 

Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “People are living on land planned for significant regeneration. It is with regret that we’re having to take court action. But we cannot just give away council-owned land because people move onto it illegally and want to keep it.

“We have been talking to representatives from the group for some time about them moving on. We’ve offered support with housing and will meet any homelessness duties owed. The legal process can take some time and we are committed to supporting people as much as possible to help them make alternative arrangements.”