Plans for a new park on the site of the former Wisewood Secondary School in north Sheffield are moving forward.
Sheffield City Council had previously agreed to the exchange of a parcel of land from the former school site, which closed in 2011, with part of Spider Park.
The proposal would see part of the former school site developed as a new playground, while part of the existing Spider Park, off Sevenfields Lane on the Wadsley-Wisewood border, be developed for housing.
Now the council has approved an extra sliver of land in the deal, around a third of an acre to ensure that the quality of housing and impact on the surrounding area is sympathetic.
The council can now progress the disposal of the land to the preferred bidder, who will be required to submit a planning application, with the monies raised from the sale funding the installation and maintenance of the new playground.
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for parks and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “I’m thrilled that, after a considerable period of time, this land swap can take place and a new park created where it is much-needed.
“The council’s preferred developer has made a commitment to ensuring the park moves ahead whilst also bringing a high-quality housing scheme forward.
“The existing Spider Park is poorly used whilst the new site on the former Wisewood School is in a much better location for the communities of Wadsley, Wisewood and Sutton. I’m convinced it will be a big success.
“Meanwhile, the new housing overlooking the rest of Spider Park, which enjoys great views over Sheffield, will make it a safer environment for all.”
The new parcel of land will accommodate an extension to Sevenfields Lane and the provision of a pedestrian route through the site.
New houses to the north side of Spider Park would provide natural surveillance over the remaining parkland and make the path between Dial House Road and Sevenfields Lane safer to use.
The proposed new children’s play area on part of the school site would help to meet the shortage of children’s play facilities in the local area and complete a recreational hub to complement the Wisewood Sports Centre, run by Places 4 People, and floodlit artificial pitches.
Section 106 contributions from the developer at Spider Park would help to fund the play area and its ongoing maintenance, with some additional Section 106 funding covering the balance needed.
Margaret Young, Chair of the Wisewood, Wadsley and Loxley TARA, said: “We are very pleased that the project is moving forward and we are very much looking forward to seeing the playground completed as it is just what the Wisewood area needs. The residents of Wisewood have been waiting a long time for this.”
Councillor Josie Paszek, ward councillor, for Hillsborough added: “I regularly attend meetings in the area and am frequently asked about the progress of the playground. This is brilliant news for the Wisewood area and like a lot of local people I think it will be a major asset for local people. We are looking forward to consulting and working with local residents and children to ensure the playground is everything they wish for.”