Site owner Patrick Properties has rethought its approach. Credit: consultation documents

Sky-House seeks way forward in Loxley Valley

Working with Patrick Properties, the housebuilder hopes to bring a low-density development to the former Hepworth Works close to Sheffield, with 60 homes proposed at the 70-acre site.

Since factory operations ceased 40 years ago, the roughly 20 buildings on site have been unused. The site sits slightly more than three miles north-west of Sheffield city centre and is described by the partners as derelict, overgrown and heavily polluted.

A scheme of much higher density, amounting to 300 homes, was put forward by site owner Patrick Properties in 2021 and rejected unanimously after a major backlash, also losing at appeal.

Patrick has now teamed up with Sky-House, the South Yorkshire-headquartered developer that has made a name for itself with a much lighter and small-scale approach in former industrial areas.

Sky-House is working at Olive Lane within Harworth’s Waverley masterplan, its fourth project in that area, and is also advancing a project on the site of Sheffield’s former Stokes tile warehouse.

What is proposed now for the land off Storrs Bridge Lane is a high-end scheme, with a contribution to affordable homes off-site the suggested way forward.

David Cross, chairman of Sky-House, said: “Sky-House has spent well over a year looking at potential options for a site that has been unloved and left vacant for decades, including extensive discussions with the Friends of Loxley Valley, Sheffield Council and the Sheffield Design Panel.

“We’re running an extensive consultation over the next few weeks which introduces our vision for its long-term development, including quality homes, useable open spaces and far improved walking and cycling connectivity – all within a beautiful valley setting.

“Initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I look forward to seeing what other members of the public have to say over our plans.”

One-storey homes are to the fore. Credit: consultation documents

Along with 60 homes, the early stage plans include aspirations for riverside walks, sports facilities and a riverside hub.

Setting out the plans on the consultation website, Patrick and Sky-House said that three core principles will guide work: low-density, low-energy development with local character, minimal environmental impact, and preservation of the valley’s ‘blue corridor’.

The developers said that the built form of the proposals would mean 78% less hardstanding and an increase in wild landscaping.

The existing footprint of buildings is 322,920 sq ft, with 21 acres of hardstanding that could be removed. The footprint of the incoming buildings would be 120,000 sq ft in total.

The development team is seeking feedback on the Loxley Valley consultation website.

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Strongly object to development of green belt and will be making a formal objection to any planning submission as I did to the last application.

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