In addition to all the usual business, the 2014 AGM was turned into an opportunity to engage our community on our five themed working groups. We divided up around five tables with maps, images, and other relevant information and documented all the local knowledge and views of everyone in the room.
Here are some excerpts from what was said on the day:
Architecture and Conservation table –
- The local historic character has been threatened by some developments. This could be because of lax enforcement of conservation area requirements, lack of strength in the conservation area restrictions, or sometimes just lack of awareness of the owner about the responsibilities of owning a building in a conservation area. A design guide could help.
- Some key buildings, like the Mount, are hidden from view by high walls and inappropriate new construction (car park)
- Key views and vistas should be protected when thinking about development.
Green and Open Space table –
- The few wild spaces in the area are valued for habitat and plant diversity. The Harcourt Hole has become a good example of such a space.
- Badgers have been spotted in the area around Crookes Valley Park
- Wildlife corridors connecting to Endcliffe and Crookes Valley parks should be priorities.
- Identification of green spaces on the map that were ‘secret’ or known only to those who lived very nearby.
Balanced and Sustainable Community table –
- Quality of rental housing and density of occupation were general concerns. Establishing criteria for space standards would be one way to address these issues.
- The number of HMO’s on one street on the west side of the BBEST area has recently decreased. This is possibly due to the opening of student rental housing in the city centre. Council records and the housing survey will identify if this is a local or more general phenomenon.
- Shortage of properties to ‘downsize’ into, suitable for ageing in place.
- Lack of entry level housing for sale in the area.
Active Travel Corridor table –
- Issues around bus routes and air pollution due to the age and quality of the busses.
- Potential new cycle routes identified on the map
- Improvements in pedestrian and cycle routes down Fulwood and Whitham Roads to the University were discussed.
BBEST retail centre table –
- There is a need for more independent shops and better quality food outlets to give Broomhill an individual character, like Sharrow Vale Road shops.
- Current parking situation does not work. Constant queuing for the few parking spaces in front of the shopping parade, causing additional traffic build-up.
- Could more leisure / entertainment outlets in Broomhill draw more people to visit and shop in the area?
- Pedestrian environment is poor, with too much traffic, difficult crossings, and poor air quality.
Following the round table discussions on our working group themes, the University of Sheffield Architecture students presented their work to date on the ‘Live Project’ to advance a design guide for the area. The presentation was thoughtful and engaging and included a thorough analysis of the area through maps of all sorts.
Included in the presentation were six sketches of ‘what if’ scenarios to generate discussion and provide a vision of what could be. What do you think of these? Send comments to email@example.com with the words ‘WHAT IF’ in the subject line.
Many thanks to the students who worked on this presentation. They are:
Andrew Bin, Alexander Farr, Samya Kako, Shulin Lai, Alexandra Mills, Robbie Ormrod, Jack Qin, Kaia Opstad Sæbø, and Kat Wong.
The final presentation of their work with BBEST will be on 25th November. Everyone is cordially invited to attend. Please check the home page where additional information will be posted about the time and location.