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24/00183/FUL Objection to temporary Car Park, Porter Brook

Updated: Feb 15

The following is our objection to application:

24/00183/FUL | Retrospective planning application for continuous use of existing public pay and display car park for a temporary period of 5 years | Site Of Former Bernard Works Sylvester Gardens Sheffield S1 4RN


This application to legitimise a temporary car park which currently does not have permission to operate.

Dear Stewart Greenslade,


The applicant seeks to renew a temporary permission for car parking originally granted in 2014 for five years and which has continued without permission since then although not in the ownership of the current owner and applicant for most of that period.


The application is located within the Lower Porter (Hunter's Bar to City Centre) Local Wildlife Site and Cultural Industries Quarter.


Since 2014 considerable change has taken place in this reach of the Porter Brook River corridor, including the redevelopment of the sites immediately up (the Platform Apartments) and down stream (Speedwell Works) to provide public access to the left bank of the Porter Brook, but these two sections are not linked up and in the case of one is currently locked pending completion of a connection to Sylvester Gardens. This is shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. Further public access to the Porter and a very well loved riverside park at Matilda St. have also been provided by the City Council on the next site downstream and the adjoining AVEC site, also owned by the City Council, is on the market for redevelopment with a requirement for public access to the river.


The Bernard Works site therefore represents the remaining missing link to complete a significant portion of the proposed Porter Brook Trail, as required by UDP Retained Policy. The trail and the access it provides to Green-Blue space would address the significant lack of such amenity in this growing mixed working and living area identified in the Draft Local Plan for much more residential development.



Figure 1: Proposed Car Park and annotated Porter Brook Trail Request


Figure 2: Wider Porter Brook Trail



Figure 3: Sylvester Gardens to Existing Porter Brook Trail missing link


Figure 4: Existing site showing brick boundary to the Porter Brook


It should be noted that the Speedwell Works site is also in the ownership of the applicant.


Whilst it is accepted that the application is for temporary permission we would point out that the previous expired temporary permission has already stretched to ten years. Therefore it cannot be assumed that the car park use will be so short as suggested, given the vicissitudes of the current market and the relative returns and lack of risk for parking use.


We would cite the following Council Policies in support of our request.


a)      Local Plan Core Strategy Chapter 12 :


Policy CS 73 The Strategic Green Network

Within and close to the urban areas, a Strategic Green Network will be maintained and where possible enhanced , which will follow the rivers and streams of the main valleys:


a. Upper Don b. Loxley c. Rivelin d. Porter e. Sheaf f. Rother g. Lower Don/Canal; and include other strategic corridors through: h. Oakes Park to the Limb Valley i. Gleadless Valley j. Ochre Dike Valley k. Shire Brook Valley l. Shirtcliffe Brook Valley m. Blackburn Brook Valley and its tributaries n. Birley Edge. ..


12.12 The Network will be secured by preserving open space through development control, enhancing existing open space, creating new open space as part of new development and through developer contributions. The draft Public Rights of Way Improvement Plan proposes to enhance the provision of good quality paths and network links to and along the river corridors. It also proposes to integrate parks, woodlands site facilities, canal/riverside, and open country access into the overall path network.


b)The Sheffield Unitary Development Plan retained Policy GE 17 states that:

‘As part of the development of the Green Network, all rivers and streams will be protected and enhanced for the benefit of wildlife and where appropriate, for public access and recreation. This will be done by:


a) Not permitting the culverting of any river or stream unless absolutely necessary and encouraging the reopening of culverted watercourses where opportunities arise …


c) Expecting the setting back of any new development to an appropriate distance from the banks of major rivers and streams to allow for landscaping



DP Policy BE 16 ’Development in Conservation Areas’ states that development should preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area. 


We therefore request that the layout and surfacing of the car park is amended to provide:


a) Provision of a link, surfaced in tarmac from Sylvester Gardens to the existing Porter Brook Trail within the Speedwell Works site, allowing it to be opened for 24/7 public access as originally intended. This will result in a modest loss 1 space on the original 2014 approved plan which the application seeks to extend. (Shown in Figure 1 and Figure 3).


b) that the main parking layout be adjusted to permit the provision of a 2m tarmac or hoggin footpath along the river edge with standard riverside railing and a knee-rail inboard to prevent overparking. On the 2014 approved layout this could probably also be achieved with minimal loss of spaces by simply reducing the aisle width to the minimum 6m required. It should also be noted that the car park is only roughly surfaced with no white lining of bays so these space numbers are only rough guides dependent on driver behaviour. It should also be noted that the 2014 permission included making good of the riverside wall which appears not to have been done or to have suffered serious dilapidation in the intervening decade. This is shown in Figure 4.


It should be noted that the Environment Agency are also suggesting that a buffer from the river should be maintained. By creating a temporary provision along the rivers edge, this would further protect the river from light spill.


c) a short ramp to connect the trail to the existing public riverside area in the Platform site at an acceptable gradient for wheelchair access


It is accepted that the riverside route through the car park would require closure during any future redevelopment but that the link to Sylvester Gardens should if possible be maintained during redevelopment subject to safety measures.


We also offer our support to the comments made by the Environment Agency.



On behalf of the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust


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