The government yesterday rejected calls from a Sheffield MP not to target the green belt in Sheffield for development, following their announcement of changes to housing targets.
Sheffield City Council’s planning committee has recently rejected a number of planning applications on green spaces, but government might now try and force future developments through.
Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, asked the Secretary of State to rule out increasing the housing targets for Sheffield to protect the green belt in Sheffield to provide protection in the South of England.
In his answer, Secretary of State Robert Jenrick confirmed that Sheffield would be asked to take a greater share of housing development and dismissed concerns about protecting the green belt.
Under the national legislation imposed on councils by government, many areas across the country have been forced to build on green belt. Due to the importance of protecting green spaces Sheffield City council has been undertaking a new piece of work to look at how the development of new homes in central Sheffield can be maximised. This will have the additional benefits of supporting the economic development of Sheffield City Centre as well as providing a more environmentally sustainable option. Following this work Sheffield City Council produced a plan which was consulted on over recent months to meet the already high target of 40,000 new homes, whilst protecting the green belt.
Figures produced yesterday state that Sheffield will now face a 35% increase in its nationally determined targets for new housing delivery.
Olivia Blake MP, for Sheffield Hallam, said:
“Our green belt and green spaces really make Sheffield stand out as the Outdoor City and is one of the things that makes our area such a great place to live for my constituents. It’s completely wrong and says everything about this government that they are asking our green belt to potentially take the pressure of extra development to protect the green belt in the south of England.
“Sheffield has already been given extremely high housing targets and the council has done a great job to put together a plan to deliver these targets through developing our city centre and brownfield sites through Sheffield. We need a real and comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis rather than imposing these arbitrary targets on our city which they are not asking of other parts of the country.
Councillor Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development and incoming Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:
“As a council we have done a great deal over the past 18 months to develop a new plan for our city centre that could see up to 20,000 homes developed in the centre of Sheffield. This provides a fantastic opportunity not only to regenerate Sheffield city centre, but would mean we are able to protect the green belt from development
“The feedback we have had from our consultation over the summer has been really positive and really well received. We had been hoping to take this forward further and now out of the blue the government have completely changed the goalposts, to protect the green belt in the South of England.
“This is a blatant disregard for the people of Sheffield, putting different rules to us and the south of England.”
- Please see yesterday’s story confirming the news that more housebuilding will be concentrated in the north
2. Please see new guidance published yesterday around Housing Needs Assessment, including “A 35% uplift is then applied for those urban local authorities in the top 20 cities and urban centres list.
Whether a cities and urban centres uplift applies depends on whether the local authority contains the largest proportion of population for one of the 20 cities or urban centres in England within the list.
The cities and urban centres list is devised by ranking the Office for National Statistics list of Major Towns and Cities by population size using the latest mid-year population estimates (nomis, official labour market statistics).
As at December 2020, this list of urban local authorities are: Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Kingston upon Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, and Wolverhampton.”
3. Please see information about Sheffield City Council local plan, including the recent Issues and Options Document
4. Please see Olivia Blake MP’s question in parliament at 13:44:02