Members of the community had their say on a new draft masterplan unveiling the vision for Parkwood Springs over the next 10 years at a consultation evening on Thursday night.
The masterplan, which was published earlier this year, includes plans for Wardsend Cemetery and the former Viridor Landfill site, to become a 150-hectare giant urban country park stretching from Wardsend to Neepsend.
It will also see the highly anticipated £35 million scheme to transform the abandoned ski village, which was burnt in a series of fires in 2012, into a sport and entertainment complex for skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.
Neill Schofield, the chair of Friends of Parkwood Springs and Peter Bull, the group’s treasurer were joined by Matthew Gregg, planning officer for Sheffield City Council and Steve Birch, principal development officer for the Council at St Catherine’s School in Firshill.
The council members answered questions put forward by Mr Schofield and Mr Bull and other local residents as well as noting suggestions made in order to amend details of the current draft masterplan.
Speaking about the area in its current state, Mr Bull said: “We want something for the local community to feel proud of. It used to be a tip but it’s not anymore and it will only continue to get better.”
A key talking point was disability access to and throughout the park, with some residents worried they may not be able to make it through the park with limited mobility.
Mr Gregg said: “[Extreme’s proposal] will have department for transport standard disability access at the main entrances and Warsend cemetery and other key locations should have suitable DDA access too.”
Another worry is that people with limited access will not be able to make it from the bottom of the site to the top.
Mr Bull said: “This will create a barrier between those who live in Hillsborough and Shiregreen and Burngreave. There’s a huge, difficult slope to negotiate and we’d like to see something done about this.”
Public transport links also provided cause for concern with several residents worried that the lack of stops close to the park will put residents of the city and visitors alike off visiting.
Mr Gregg conceded: “Public transport links are poor and it’s up to the South Yorkshire Passenger Travel Executive.
I think the new housing development plans in the area could see more bus routes in the area around the park, especially along Pitsmoor Road.”
He did say, however, that a direct bus into the park would be unlikely.
Friends of Parkwood Springs also reiterated that it’s important that the park has accredited national park status.
Mr Schofield said: “We are a bit anxious about this. If it’s branded a local park for local people, will this really signify it’s good enough for people elsewhere travel to visit it?”
He does however maintain that he and the group are happy with the draft.
“It’s very exciting. We’ve been working on this for a long time now and it’s incredible to think what it can be transformed into.”
If you want to view the full plan and have your views heard by filling in a consultation, you can click here.