Story by Saleema Imam
Plans for the old Ski Village site were presented to the community at the Friends of Parkwood Springs AGM, on July 19th.
Chair Neill Schofield introduced the two speakers – Chris Lewis from EXTREME Destinations, the developer chosen by Sheffield council for the site and Clive Barber from Viridor about the restoration of the Landfill site.
Chris Lewis stated that EXTREME sponsored 120 athletes, many of whom learned their skills on the old ski slope. They all offered huge support for the proposed plans, the first draft of which is visualised on the map. The intention is to create a first class venue, which will create jobs, encourage major investment and attract many more people into the city.
EXTREME want to listen to the local community and incorporate their suggestions in the next draft in September, after which public consultation will start in earnest. The project will proceed in three phases.
Phase one hopes to create around 150 jobs, and will include outdoor ski slopes and mountain and advanced cycle tracks. A detailed planning application is targeted to be submitted in January 2019 and to be delivered in the summer/ autumn 2020. EXTREME will not be the operators.
Phase two promises ‘Spectacular’ plans. These are under wraps at the moment, but should be released in the autumn. There is only one other similar project, in Swansea.
Future intentions include café and living accommodation, zip wires and possibly extending the cycle tracks to Wardsend cemetery. Links have been established with the council rangers to possibly connect with existing cycle routes, but also to ensure safety for the general public walking in the area.
Concerns were expressed about the possible damage to the existing environment. Chris Lewis said that tree surveys have been completed and the hope is that no trees will be removed, but if any are, they will be replaced. Increased traffic flow was also raised, particularly at weekends. EXTREME say they are looking at this and are considering options, including shuttle buses and ‘park and ride’.
Following the repeated fires at the old site, there were also unsurprising concerns around site safety. There would be 24 hour protection of the site to prevent any future vandalism.
The whole project is expected to create about 600 jobs.
Clive Barber distributed plans of how Viridor and SCC would see the finished restoration of the landfill site. A circular footpath round the perimeter is envisaged with several entrances. This should be ready in 2019, with measures to curb offroad motorbikes using the paths also being considered.
There will be a multi-use park in the southern corner and, in the north, wheelchair access right up to the viewing platform.
Although SCC have asked that all fencing be removed, the methane gas infrastructure needs protection. This fenced and therefore undisturbed area will be a haven for wildlife.
Some of those in attendance had been on a guided tour of the site and commented:
“It already looks brilliant. We were gobsmacked when we visited.”