Saturday, 4 August 2012

Secret Garden Demolition Application Submitted

August is Sheffield University's favourite month for submitting planning applications and this year is no exception. So we now have an application to demolish the buildings on the southern part of the Tapton Experimental Gardens site, including the temporary structures in the Secret Garden (the walled kitchen garden of Tapton Elms, on Taptonville Rd). 

The Uni have planning permission to demolish and redevelop the site but their plans have gone awry as Miller Homes, who they were working with before, are driving a very hard bargain now that the housing market is in a slump. So there is no immediate redevelopment on the horizon and indeed it is quite likely that the entire project will fall flat on its face. That means that the Uni will have to re-market the site to a new developer, who will bring forward another development plan.

Possibly to prepare for this the Uni now want to demolish the current buildings on the site  - except for the hall of residence building - as they have been struggling with security. There have been continual problems with trespassers and some while ago metal thieves caused serious damage to Pisgah House, which took over a year to fix.

So while one can sympathise to an extent its really important that nothing of historic or horticultural value on the site is demolished or damaged at this time. The garden is now on the list of protected historic parks and gardens in Sheffield so it would be counter to the Sheffield Development Framework to do anything to them that damages historic features or prevents their possible future restoration. The trees in the gardens are subject to protection orders but there are many other plants that could be trampled or destroyed by demolition works.

It is a great pity that the University will not engage with the council and community over the future of this site, to discuss alternative options to simply flogging it off and building on it. We think there are so many other potential options that haven't been properly explored but its simply not possible to work on them unless the site owner is on board. As usual we're left with only one option - the planning process. So since that is the only avenue to make our feelings known let's go for it.

To comment on this planning (i.e. demolition) application, you can use the Council's online planning system at 

or alternatively simply send an email to quoting the application number 12/02284/CAC 

No comments:

Post a Comment