15 September 2017

A programme that is revamping eyesore buildings ready for regeneration has won a coveted planning award.

Sheffield City Council’s stuck sites programme won the RTPI Yorkshire Award for Planning Excellence 2017 in a ceremony held in Hull last night.

Judges recognised the way the council’s planning team had used legislation to unlock sites for development including Lion Works, the Ebenezer Chapel in Kelham and Mowbray Works.

All three buildings, and many others, have needed substantial interventions from the council’s planning team to make them fit for development as housing and businesses.

The subsequent renovation of these so-called stuck sites has led to nearly 800 homes being built across the city and reduced anti-social behaviour.

The RTPI Yorkshire Planning Excellence Award 2017 is an opportunity for organisations to celebrate and showcase the high quality planning work done in the Yorkshire Region. This Award is open to all planners, architects, surveyors, developers, and anyone with an interest in shaping places.

Councillor Ben Curran, Cabinet Member for Planning and Development at Sheffield City Council, said:

“We are very pleased to be recognised for our commitment to remove eyesore buildings and provide good quality housing on brownfield sites across the city.

“We will continue to push ahead with this ground breaking work.

“These buildings are often spectacular and can be regenerated with council help. This has positive benefits for community cohesion and reduced vandalism and anti-social behaviour too. Our planning team is to be congratulated on another great success.”

Jennifer Winyard, chair of the RTPI judges, said: “Stuck sites is an outstanding project that shows what local planners can achieve with the creative use of existing powers and with their own tenacity, expertise and skill.

“In bringing otherwise difficult opportunities forward, not only have they brought new life to run down places, but increased a vital supply of homes on brownfield sites.

“The project has delivered positive change through proactive engagement with land and property owners, and helped to change their attitudes towards maintenance without resorting to legal or enforcement action

“It is good to see planning enforcement, an important but often negatively perceived function, to be able to secure crucial funding from the Council and shape the lives of local communities in such a positive way.”

The award follows a silver medal at the National Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Excellence in Planning 2017, held in June.


Notes to editors:

Stuck sites include the former Ebenezer Chapel in Shalesmoor, which has been transformed from a derelict shell into 11 occupied apartments in the Kelham Island Conservation area.

Council planners served a S215 Notice requiring the building to be re-roofed and made wind and watertight, before working with the owners on a new scheme which they completed following advice from the team.

The team also worked at the site of the former Foundry Working Men’s Club in Richmond Park, which had become a target for anti-social behaviour, vandalism and arson after its closure.

The site sits on the edge of an established neighbourhood, with residents close by, so removing the problems have had a huge, positive impact on the quality of life in the area.

After demolishing burnt-out buildings on the site and re-landscaping, planning enforcement officers are working with the owners and other interested parties to bring the site forward for housing.

A third scheme which caught judges’ attention was work to transform the former Lion Works on Spital Hill in Sheffield.

Lion Works is a grade two listed building in a prominent, skyline position overlooking the city centre, which was holding back the regeneration of the Spital Hill area and giving rise to numerous complaints.

With New Homes Bonus backing, the Council carried out major re-roofing, internal bracing and associated works, which were necessary to make the building wind and watertight.