Thursday 2 April 2015

Sheffield projects have scooped four successes in the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute Placemaking Awards this year.

Sheaf Valley Park won the Design Excellence Award, the Lower Don Valley Flood Defence Business Improvement District topped the Partnership category and the Little Kelham Housing scheme won two awards – the Sustainability and ‘Placemaking in Northern England’ Awards.

Sheffield City Council’s Director of Regeneration and Development Services, Dave Caulfield said: “It’s brilliant that three schemes in Sheffield have just won a total of four awards at the prestigious national Place-making awards. No other city apart from London received more than one. There was fierce competition so credit to all involved and the excellent partnerships we have developed to deliver these projects.

“The awards underline the fact that Sheffield is once again coming together with partners to drive forward and deliver innovative regeneration and development. And we have many other exciting schemes in the pipeline.”

Sheaf Valley Park is a 1.25 kilometre-long green corridor connecting and transforming a series of under-used isolated spaces between Park Square and Granville Road, including South Street Park, Monument Gardens and Clay Woods.

Its eight hectares include a 1,000 seat amphitheatre, woodland walks and panoramic views across the city to the Peak District. The scheme has improved access to the tram and railway stations and provided walking and cycling links between the city centre and Norfolk Park for residents.

Judges commended the project for incorporating high-quality landscape design that enhances Sheffield city centre. They said ‘the scheme transcends connect¬ion to make sense of places and an interesting journey’.

The project was designed and built by the City Council working with the Friends of Sheaf Valley Park.

Toby Hyam, Chair of Friends of Sheaf Valley Park added: “Sheaf Valley Park are pleased that this important new green space at the heart of the city has achieved national recognition. We very much hope this further raises the profile of the amphitheatre and the Cholera Gardens and encourages more people to use these fantastic amenities.”

In 2007 hundreds of businesses in the Lower Don Valley were severely affected by flooding. The Lower Don Valley Business Improvement District (BID) was set up – the first in the UK – to support a construction project and river channel maintenance.

A campaign was launched in 2013 by Sheffield City Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Environment Agency that secured a 95 per cent vote in favour of the BID.

Work has now started on the £18 million flood defence project and the Sheffield River Stewardship Company has been engaged to look after the river between Corporation Street and Tinsley Viaduct.

The scheme is now being looked at as a model for how other cities could look after their rivers and prepare for climate change.

Judges said ‘the project demonstrated real originality and had a high impact’.

The Little Kelham project is based in one of the oldest and most attractive industrial areas of Sheffield and aims to deliver 153 homes, alongside creative spaces, shops, cafés and galleries. All homes in the low-carbon scheme are being built to the ‘Passivhaus’ standard, intended to eliminate the need for central heating.

Local apprentices have been employed to construct and put up the homes’ timber frames. A residents’ cooperative will collectively manage the energy, buying utilities at wholesale prices and retaining and investing profits in future sustainability measures. Electric car charging points and bike-friendly landscaping are also planned.

Judges said they liked the strong sustainable credentials of this scheme, its values and its design quality.

The developer is the Leeds-based company Citu.

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