Nostalgia rife as housing development on Stannington playing field begins

A piece of Stannington history will soon be a housing estate, after a two-year battle over planning permission.

Avant Homes are developing 42 homes on Greaves Lane playing field, former host to the annual community gala.

The planning application, initially made in 2015, has been amended multiple times to accommodate concerns from residents and Bradfield Parish Council. Trevor Bagshaw, Parish Councillor for Stannington, said he hoped some of the new houses will be “affordable housing”, a need within the area.

Mr Bagshaw said, “There were concerns that the development was not helping the young people who live in the area to get accommodation near to where they are born and to where they work”.

So far 18 objections and a petition with 90 signatures have been put to the Council. Sports England also opposed the scheme.

Complaints include overcrowding at the local schools of Nook Lane Junior School, Stannington Infant School and Forge Valley school, as well as at doctors’ surgeries.

The number of houses is currently double that stated previously, with almost half of the new houses to have four bedrooms or more.

An additional road will lead into the new estate, with 94 parking spaces. This has raised further concerns about the additional volume of traffic on the road.

Greaves Lane playing field used to host cricket and football matches, as well as the annual Dyson’s Gala, held by Dyson’s Refactories for over 40 years. Attended by over 200 people a year, the event had stalls, rides and a train for locals to enjoy.

Dyson’s Refactories was demolished this month to be developed into houses by Avant Homes. This was met by disappointment from Stannington residents, as only some were given a day’s notice.

Ann Johnsen, from Stannington, said: “Never in my lifetime did I think that would happen.”

Shirley Samworth, also from the area, said, “[I am] thankful for the families in and around the whole of this area that owe their homes and livelihoods to Dyson’s in its heyday.”

Although work is currently underway, the future of Greaves Lane Playing Fields remains unclear. A separate planning application is underway to build only 39 dwellings on site, but with 108 car spaces. This comes after Avant Homes bought the land from Rippon Homes earlier this year. Laurie Harvey, from Sheffield Council, said that, should the Council grant permission for the second application, Avant Homes would be able to choose between the two plans.

The new application will be decided by the 12th December. Until then, work will continue on the once-community hop-spot of Stannington.

Avant Homes and Carlton Designs Architecture Ltd refused to comment.