Welcome to friends of Ecological Owlthorpe

Public Inquiry Information supporting Ecological Owlthorpe as an upstream nature based solution protecting the environment from downstream flooding. EO-01 to EO-21.

EO-01 Original Objection 21st Feb 2020

This is my original objection to planning Application 19/03143/FUL, building in Owlthorpe, submitted 21 February 2020 to Howard Baxter Sheffield (LPA). My concern has always been about flooding, we all need to do more to prevent downstream flooding. There were many other objections submitted by the local community which can be seen by inserting 19/03143/FUL into https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/

Please take some time and review them all.


EO-02 Ecological Owlthorpe an environmental approach

George Eustace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbYXEDczL-U explains the Government's approch to UK flooding: £4bn spending on flood defences. This is supported by Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Natural England who have jointly committed to "nature-based solutions to tackle the climate energency", to which Ecological Owlthorpe has the potential to make an excellent contribution.


EO-03 This is an account of one of the victims of the flooding in Fishlake

Jenny Palmer (resident of Fishlake) makes many relevant legal points which I have highlighted in yellow. Please read her statement carefully.


EO-04 River Don Flood Risk at Fishlake

The flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/8259 shows the last 5days river levels up to 18th January 2021 have been above the 3.18m water level: Flooding is possible. Jenny Palmer says that before purchasing her house in Fishlake in March 2019 flood risk assesment for Fishlake was very low. The concrete flood defence you see in evidence EO-04 was built in Sheffield to stop flooding in the east of the city but this is the main cause of flooding in Fishlake along with some confluence of water from the Ochre Dyke.

Please watch this video of flooding in Fishlake 21 st January 2021 The tow path in this video shows the path is in a state of collapse.


EO-05 Flood risk assesment

Flood risk assesment: Ecological Owlthorpe sets out the reasons not to build in Ecological Owlthorpe using local knowledge and understanding. The first photo shows the colour Ochre Dyke turns when the disused minworkings are flooded and Ochre washes out. This can be best seen in Link to Video:Ochre Dyke flooding. The second and third photos show scenes of flooding in Beighton, and the fourth of flooding in Fishlake.


EO-06 Height above sea Level and GPS Co-ordinates

This evidence shows how steep Ecological Owlthorpe is. Birley Wood Golf Course stands 650ft above sea level, Fishlake is 23ft above sea level. This difference of 627ft is evidence in itself that downstream flooding is likely to occur.


EO-07 Grazing Project

Between 1980 and 2002 Sheffield lost 75.7% of its unimproved
grasslands, therefore our grasslands are a valuable environmental
resource. If Sheffield City Council (LPA) have their way EO-07 shows what
they want to do to the Grazing Project.


EO-08 Owlthorpe Meadows Invertebrate Survey 2010

The maps in EO-08 show the detailed extent of work carried out by Derek Whiteley, Assistant Ecologist Sheffield City Ecology Unit. At the time this survey was taken there were abundant invertebrates in Ecological Owlthorpe.

Andrew Baker, Ecologist spokesperson for Avant Homes said “it is only scrub land and is of no importance”, adding that since 2010 many of the species then present are no longer on site. However, such a respected environmentalist as Chris Packham values the scrubland vegetation as vital to the continued exsistence of invertebrates to the wildlife food chain. This is echoed by many scientists around the world.


EO-09 Owlthorpe Meadows Invertebrate Survey 2011

Records added to Sheffield Biological Records Centre RECORDER database. Surveyed on 19 May 2011, 1 June 2011, 14 June 2011 and 27 June 2011 Areas surveyed in 2011. Phase 1 grazing fields – outlined in pink. Phase 1A grazing field – outlined in yellow. Phase 2 grazing fields – outlined in green. This list includes some species that are nationally localised and some species that are scarce in Sheffield.


EO-10 Owlthorpe Meadows Invertebrate Survey 2012 v2

Records added to Sheffield Biological Records Centre RECORDER database.
Surveyed on 22 March 2012, 5 May 2012, 22 May 2012.The survey was designed to cover the early spring period, to complement previous surveys. Derek Whiteley Associate Ecologist Sheffield City Ecology Unit June 2012


EO-11 National Tree Strategy

National Tree Strategy (Westminster Hall)
Dan Jarvis Sheffield City Reginal Mayor addressing the National Tree Strategy
on Wednesday 16th December 2020, highlighted two major factors facing not
only the UK but the whole planet: Climate change and biodiversity.


EO-12 Interpretation Board Entrance

By zooming in on your smartphone to the interpretation boards on our website you can see the detailed work carried out in producing our Oasis.


EO-13 stemming-the-flow-trees-in-flood-protection

Policy Paper Stemming the flow The role of trees and woodland in flood protection May 2014 produced by The Woodland Trust woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees

This Paper is helpfull in explaining to (LPA) the requirements needed to stop downstreem flooding.


EO-14 Nicola Dempsy sustainability-11-00360-v2

Ongoing financial public sector budget pressure is adversely affecting the management and quality of parks in the UK. According to UNISON (2018), 59% of the UK’s local authorities had cut their parks and green spaces budgets between 2016/2017 and 2018/2019. The biggest of these cuts was in Warwickshire County Council (from almost £110,000 to just over £14,000). This has led some local authorities to change how their parks services are delivered with fewer staff and an increased focus on lower maintenance. This is my answer to Richard Sager, Barrister for Avant Homes question: why there are no up to date invertebrate surveys.


Eo-15 Nicola Dempsy

Dr Nicola Dempsey. Her students took an in-depth look at the proposal to build in Owlthorpe by reviewing the local objections. They also studied the interpretation boards that show the extent of environmental work carried out in 2012 under the guidance of Natural England. A further consideration is the need for new, environmentally friendly technology to be integrated into any plans. These should, for example, ensure that houses have south-facing aspects to capture the benefits of solar technology, with storage batteries capable of taking advantage of new government legislation that says properties with excess electricity can sell back to the national grid. High-speed charging points must be planned for, for electric cars and bicycles, with perhaps a car scrappage deal for residents moving into new housing and even possibly a ban on combustion engines from new housing estates.


EO-16 COP26 - GOV

As COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's opening remarks at the Climate Ambition Summit.



EO-17 List of floods in Sheffield

I was caught up in the Sheffield flood of 2007: On 25 June, Sheffield suffered extensive damage as the River Don over-topped its banks, causing widespread flooding in the Don Valley area of the city. A 14-year-old boy was swept away by the swollen River Sheaf and a 68-year-old man died after attempting to cross a flooded road in Sheffield city centre. The Meadowhall shopping centre was closed due to flooding with some shops remaining closed downstairs until late September and Sheffield Wednesday's ground Hillsborough was under 6 feet (1.83 m) of water. A number of people had to be rescued by RAF helicopters from buildings in the Brightside area. The pressure of water overwelmed the drainage system, water shot up 5ft in the air out of the grates.


EO-18 Review of Planning and Highways Committee Meeting 2nd June 2020

Cilve Betts MP Sheffield South East stated; "Density is Key". I always say; "funding is Key to any project".Cllr Jack Clarkson explained that the site is a wildlife site and would be a massive loss of green space if developed, used by dog walkers etc. Cllr Andrew Sanger and Cllr Peter Garbutt said " Why were the sites not sold as one? It seems in deliberation that the council did not want an Ecology Impact Assessment. By selling them off separately they could avoid this type of assessment. Helen Johnson’s SCC Highways impact assessment was completely castigated by many local Cllr’s saying it was totally inadequate. Cllr Chris Rosling- Josephs explained that traffic in the area is horrendous, especially around Crystal Peaks but also in the surrounding area and that a full independent traffic assessment needs be taken before the council considers any more developments in the area. Colin Walker, Interim Head said “I think there is a significant risk if you throw Highways impact into this as a reason for refusal and that risk is that you effectively neutralise the site in residential terms.” Why was Highways impact removed from the legal document?


EO-19 Site visit Wednesday 20th January 2021

I identified the point on Owlthorpe Heritage and Nature trail where Plot E
would cut through the nature trail and join up with Moorthorpe Way. The
relevance of this is that earlier in the inquiry, Guy Williams the barrister acting
for Sheffield City Council, under cross examination from Richard Sager
Barrister acting for Avant Homes, said that the council intended to join site E
to Moorthorpe Way. Guy Williams also explained that Avant Homes would be
able to develop site C and D at a later stage. Richard Sager needed to have this
information confirmed for his client Avant Homes before they build on site E.
Many attending the site visit on behalf of Mr. Sagar and Sheffield LPA, thought we should not be discussing the joining up of Moorthorpe Way. However they had not attended the enquiry and did not understand the implications of
the discussion between both Barristers. I both attended and paid close attention to their deliberations.


EO-20 the round table event regarding housing supply

The student bubble is close to collapse because of recent Covid-19 pandemic, with many students on rent strike and much of the accommodation currently empty. Future university accommodation is in jeopardy as distant learning might well become the norm for the foreseeable future. Look at this BBC video.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=467326297599930 Many companies are evaluating whether their office space is still needed. I fear that there will be many empty office blocks in the near future. And now with the closure of many of the leading High Street brands and premises there will be millions of square feet of retail space no longer required. Will these convert to housing requirements? This is a conundrum for all LPA to tackle in the near future. Avant Homes should move to the Brownfield Site at the Norton Aerodrome.


EO-21 Overview of the Ecological Owlthorpe Appeal

In my recent visit to Fishlake I observed civil engineers working to strengthen flood defences, and local residents are grateful. In my evidence I have shown in EO-04 the problems Fishlake live with on a daily basis. A year on and many residents are putting their live back together. Some have had problems with insurance claims others haven't. Either way, insurance premiums will be increased. I observed mothers taking children to look at the River Don. Children are perceptive. They walk back with their mom doing the things kids do, but they have been through a harrowing experience which will stay with them for the rest of their lives.



Contact information

Email: holly.dutton@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Sheffield South East MP is Clive Betts:   clive.betts.mp@parliament.uk

Doncaster North (fishlake) MP is Ed Milliband: ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk

The Secretary of State for Housing E-mail:  jenrickr@parliament.uk

The Environment Secretary Email:  george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk

Environment Agency Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Forestry Commission mailto: alastair.suddaby@forestryengland.uk

Natural England Email:   enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk

Cllr Bob McCann:  bob.mccann@councillor.sheffield.gov.uk

Cllr Chris Rosling-Josephs:  chris.rosling-josephs@councillor.sheffield.gov.uk

Cllr Sophie Wilson:  sophie.wilson@councillor.sheffield.gov.uk

In this   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbYXEDczL-U Sophie Ridge interview George Eustace explains the government's response to UK floods. An extra £4 Billion to be spent on flood defenses. In Yorkshire , up stream nature based solutions are to be supported. We all need to ask our local MP and councilors why they have not applied for funds to protect Ecological Owlthorpe as an upstream nature based solution to protect the environment against flooding.

Thank you for your attention




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