Gleadless Valley Masterplan

Design for Change Workshops with local residents
Design for Change Workshops with local residents
A walk around the neighbourhood
A walk around the neighbourhood
Project date
  • Consultation
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Masterplanning
Yorkshire and the Humber
Sheffield City Council
Associated team members
Associated documents

Gleadless Valley is a vast social housing estate, which was built in the south of Sheffield in the late 1950s. The innovative and experimental design was celebrated at the time of construction, and older residents still remember bus-loads of visitors who would travel to Gleadless Valley to view the unique design, whilst proud locals referred to the Valley as ‘Little Switzerland’, due to its park-like hilly terrain. The area was landscaped so as to retain a park-like quality, with housing spreading between the mature woodland. The steep terrain presents many development challenges, but also affords residents with excellent views across the city. The estate comprises roughly 4,600 homes, of which over 50% are council owned properties. 

More recently, the reputation and built fabric of Gleadless Valley has deteriorated. The Valley’s outdated housing stock has seen little repair or replacement since construction 60 years ago. Crime rates are higher than the city average, and green spaces have become challenging to manage and maintain.

In June 2018, Sheffield City Council appointed URBED - alongside ADE Regeneration - to analyse the present social, economic and environmental conditions in Gleadless Valley, and work with the current residents of Gleadless Valley towards establishing a new strategic masterplan for the neighbourhood. Following a rigorous community engagement and design development process, the final Masterplan documents were published in September 2022.

The purpose of the Masterplan is to ensure that co-ordinated, effective, and sustainable regeneration proposals are delivered in line with the vision for the area. It will also support the Council and its partners to bid for future funding opportunities to help deliver the masterplan goals.


The Gleadless Valley Masterplan has been created under the key themes of:

  • Housing: The Housing Strategy aims to make the most of existing stock to preserve the Valley’s character, with improvements to existing homes that enhance security, communal areas and visual appearance. The masterplan will ensure that more of the types of homes people want and need are available, through remodelling and small-scale demolition and replacement of selected maisonettes and flats. Limited new build housing on underused land between and next to the Valley’s existing homes will also provide more suitable and desirable homes
  • Shared and Green Spaces: Protect and enhance Gleadless Valley's green spaces and woodlands, whilst addressing the areas of underused green space. The strategy aims to increase the health and well-being benefits for the valley’s residents through engaging them in the care of the green spaces, supporting community food growing schemes, increasing the provision of formal sports and play facilities and improving accessibility to and through its green spaces and woodlands.
  • Services and Facilities: Investment will be focused on creating a greater balance of provision throughout the Valley, promoting convenient and accessible community hubs. Ensuring thatcommunity assets are managed efficiently will ensure that more local people can benefit from them
  • Employment and Skills: Gleadless Valley has been classed as one of the most deprived estates in the country and there is a clear evidence-based need to improve levels of employment and skills in the valley. To help achieve this vision the Council and local stakeholders are exploring ways to bring more employment and skills opportunities to local people, offering apprenticeships, work expereince and jobs fairs in Gleadless Valley and exploring the potential of a new workspace for local enterprise. 


Over the coming months, the Council will recruit a dedicated delivery team to deliver projects and work with the community to develop structures which will incorporate both the Council and local people to oversee the next phase of the masterplan. 

Project blog

09.01.2019, 17:40
Public Consultation

The consultation period ran from 20th October 2018 until 11th November 2018. Feedback was captured through a paper and online questionnaire, and respondents were given three weeks to return their feedback.

During this consultation period three public exhibitions were held over two days (Saturday the 20th and the 27th of October) in the Valley. There was a good flow of residents and local stakeholders visiting the exhibitions throughout both days.

The options for the masterplan were presented on a series of exhibition boards at the events, covering ideas about housing, retail provision, employment, public facilities, sports and play, and natural space. Local people were handed a questionnaire, which asked questions about the options on each board. They were asked to state if they supported, were neutral or did not support each option. For those who couldn’t attend on the day, a pdf version of the exhibition boards was made available on the council website along with an online version of the questionnaire. 

A total of 70 responses were received, with the majority of feedback showing support for the emerging schemes. The most popular schemes included making better use of the currently empty Hemsworth site on Constable Road, improving the entrance and communal areas within several of the blocks of flats and maisonettes, and introducing running routes and nature trails into the existing woodland, in order to make better use of this natural asset.


09.01.2019, 17:16
Design For Change Workshops

The work that is being developed for a Gleadless Valley Masterplan has been informed at every stage by consultation engagement and events with local residents.

Sheffield City Council began the consultation process in 2017, engaging with 450 residents through a survey that asked what works well and what doesn’t work in the Valley. 

In September 2018 URBED continued the engagement process with 4 Design for Change workshops discussing aspirations and worries. The first workshops were held at the John O’Gaunt Pub and at the Terry Wright Centre, and introduced local residents and stakeholders to masterplanning principles, asking consultees to identify the problem areas within the Valley, teaching urban design principles and applying this learning within Gleadless Valley. Consultees then suggested areas they thought should not be changed (hard areas) and areas they thought would benefit from change (soft areas). 

The second two sessions used the Hard and Soft Plans drawn within the first workshops, and asked residents to start designing options for the area, which included new play areas, new buildings, and new nature trails.

The feedback informed emerging strategies, which were then shared back with the community in three public events in October 2018.