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Gates open up new possibilities for Parson Cross

Parson Cross, which has recently featured in the hit West End/Sheffield production Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and is one of the city’s proudest areas, is now home to some stunning gate posts made by a local sculptor with help from schoolchildren.

Sheffield Housing Company (SHC) is Sheffield City Council’s joint venture development company with private sector partners Keepmoat and Great Places Housing Group. Its goal is to improve the quality and choice of housing across the city, while creating jobs, encouraging investment and supporting the communities in which it works.

The new gates at the Buchanan Road entrance in the north Sheffield suburb have been created by artist Chris Campbell after a design competition hosted by Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Housing Company.

Chris worked with members of the local residents’ association to come up with the design, which is based on the motif of a cross.

Castings of artwork produced by students from schools at Holgate Meadow, Southey Green and Chaucer schools can be seen in the bands of the columns.

The entrance to the park is part of Sheffield Housing Company’s Brealey Forge housing development – 264 homes available to buy at affordable prices - and links with a new green route which will run through the development.

The green route will be part of the sustainable urban drainage for the housing as well as creating new green spaces to be enjoyed by all.

Chris Campbell will create further markers to visually link this route to the new entrance. Until now there has been no formal entrance to Parson Cross Park from the south-west side and the new entrance opens the park and its amenities to local residents.

Chris said:
It’s been a pleasure working with the council, residents and three local schools on this commission as involving the local community is an important part of the development process. As we embark on the next phase of works we will be involving the community again to design artworks which can be cast into metal plaques to be fixed to the new markers.

A new tarmac footpath has also recently been completed which links the new entrance to existing footpaths and facilities in Parson Cross Park. Children involved in the art project were also involved in consultation on improving Parson Cross Park playground. The new equipment which they voted for has recently been installed and includes a zip line, cantilever basket swing, seesaw and wheelchair accessible roundabout.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member at Sheffield City Council for Development, Transport and Infrastructure, said:
These new gates look great and provide a brilliant visual focus at one of the city’s nicest local parks. It’s clear that people from Parson Cross are very proud of their area and have told me how much they like them.

This new entrance opens up the park and provides a better link with existing and new amenities. I hope hundreds of visitors old and new will walk through these gates.

Sam Squires from the Parson Cross Park Community Garden Committee said:
We are very pleased to get this new entrance. It means we can get into the park from this side of Parson Cross and it will serve existing residents and the residents of the new housing well. It is good to see that, as part of the development of the new housing, we are developing new green spaces and making the most of existing ones for the benefit of the local community.

Parson Cross has under gone a huge transformation in the past 10 years. In 2007, Margetson Crescent was revamped before a new ASDA supermarket was built in 2010.

In 2011, a new learning zone and public square were opened with great Places completing its Lindsay Road development soon after.

Sheffield Housing Company began building Brearley Forge in 2012 and there were further street improvements to Buchanan Road in 2013. 2016 saw another new supermarket. Future plans include a new path running through Parson Cross Park.

Sheffield Housing Company aim is to build homes of the highest quality with the long-term ambition of helping Sheffield continue to be one of the best places to live in the UK. It has a 15-year plan to build approximately 2,300 new homes in seven of Sheffield’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Four years into that plan, it had built 293 new homes in Norfolk Park, Parson Cross and Shirecliffe. Of those built, 193 have been bought outright and 70 are for affordable rent.

The new entrances are part of the Public Art planning requirement for the Sheffield Housing Company development. A new tarmac footpath within the park will be completed later this year and will link the entrance with the main path network and park facilities. This work is part of a range of improvements, funded by S106 funding from the surrounding housing developments, which will be carried out to Parson Cross Park over the next two years. Improvements will include new equipment in the playground, improvements to the football pitches, further footpath links and entrance improvements, and new seating.