Residents of Dronfield and surrounding areas are celebrating today, following the announcement of the controversial greenbelt development receiving the go-ahead from public bodies. Several multi-storey tenements, a multifaith centre and a Pets at Home have been announced as the flagship projects with ground-breaking in March 2018.
After a relatively long struggle with the opposition, the council has given the green light to the proposed developments which will see an end to Dronfield’s Green Belt. For many forward thinkers, this is a victory in almost every sense, showing that a small town can think big. The entire proposed development is currently going through the procurement stages with multiple large development companies tendering for contracts with work to begin in March 2018.
For the developers the name of the game has always been ‘community’ looking to bring mixed peoples together while also expanding the urban landscape of the area.
The major project of the plan is the development of three 16 storey high-rise tenements, similar to those in the nearby Gleadless area just off Blackstock road, in select locations around Dronfield. The towers were chosen so as to please fanatics by reducing to damage to the Green Belt by way of building upwards as opposed to outwards. Each of the towers will be at least 60% social housing so as to be affordable to people on low incomes.
The first tower to begin construction will be situated on the site of Hallowes Golf Course, which will not be completely abolished but rather reduced to ten holes, with the clubhouse being reduced to a small kiosk and cafe situated elsewhere and the empty building being renovated into a Spar convenience store with adjoining Subway and small petrol station. Also located in the area surrounding the high-rise building will be a second, smaller, council subsidised Pets At Home selected for the convenience of Hilltop’s high volume of dog walkers and general pet owners.
The second tower development, which will break ground in April 2018, will take place on Bowshaw fields, acting as a bridge between Dronfield and nearby Sheffield suburbs, Jordanthorpe, Batemoor and Lowedges, with locals to all four areas welcome and community integration encouraged. A council merger between districts is currently being discussed as a potential option, forming a new Wider Dronfield Metropolitan Area “super council”.
To cope with the increase in diversity, a multi-faith centre will be situated on the grounds surrounding the high-rise complex. Addressing the increase in population, there are plans to add a family planning centre to go alongside the other facilities.
A third tower is to be built on Coal Aston’s Jubilee Field completing the triangle of flat blocks. This tower will perhaps be the most controversial as it is in proximity to other residential areas, therefore this one will be the most basic of the three and will not include any extra facilities.
To cope with the increase in traffic between the tenements, 43 and 44 buses will be more frequent and bus lanes will be extended between the areas so as to combat the potential increase in congestion.
Moonpenny Field and Park will also experience significant change, with the park itself being reduced to merely swings and a roundabout and the field will be levelled out to make way for an overflow carpark to cater to parents of Dronfield Junior and Infant school parents.