Save Tapton Experimental Garden!
What is it?
Where is it?
Why save it?
What can I do?
What are BANG doing?
The Secret Garden has so far been saved from redevelopment as a
housing estate thanks to the BANG's vigorous and well-supported
campaign to oppose inapproplanning permision for the site.
What is it?
Founded in 1951, this botanic garden contains more than 2000 species of
plants and has provided an experimental centre for Sheffield
University's department of plant sciences. The garden is established in
grounds that form part of the historic landscape around Hallamgate
House (built circa 1780, now demolished), Tapton Elms (now renamed Hadow House) and Pisgah House (the
oldest listed residence still
standing in Broomhill). The garden contains a number of built
structures including a
ha-ha, a Victorian walled ornamental garden and a pond, in addition to many fine
mature trees. The
University want to sell the site to developers who plan to demolish many of the existing structures and build a housing estate
upon it, along with a
larger development on the site of the Tapton Halls of Residence on the
Where is it?
Main entrance is at number 26 Taptonville Road, towards the top end of
Taptonville Road, but the garden also has a second entrance from Hoole
Road to the rear. The total land area of the garden is around 1 hectare
(2.5 acres). Few people in the community know about it because it
has rarely been open to the public. Our photogallery gives some impression of what is behind that wall, the real thing is even better...
Why save it?
- It occupies
such a sensitive site in the heart of our conservation area, and has
importance as part of the historic landscape pre-dating (and contemporary with) the
development of Broomhill;
- It provides
amenity for the surrounding houses, and an important habitat for birds,
bats, rare newts and other wildlife, in addition to its unique plant
- Broomhill is
desperately short of public green space and the loss of such a good
potential public garden in the centre of our community would be a
tragic missed opportunity;
- Broomhill has
suffered many detrimental changes to our local environment as a result
of University expansion: surely the University could give something
back by working with the community to conserve this garden?
Your support really counts!
BANG collected a total of 1675 signatures on a petition to save the Secret Garden and more than 200 people took the
trouble to write to object to the planning applications. Many local
people have also given donations of time or money to the campaign.
Strong, visible community support for the project is our best weapon
for influencing the planning decisions, and without it we are sure that
the bulldozers would already be busy on the site.
What are BANG trying to do? (Follow links and thumbnails on the left-hand pane)
BANG successfully opposed the first planning proposal for the site and
subsequently gave evidence in public hearings when it went to
appeal. But our opposition to a revised planning application was
unsuccessful so the site does now have permission for a revised
redevelopment scheme; much better than the first but still involving
the loss of much of the garden.
BANG have also worked to save Pisgah House and its garden for community
use. We worked to build a partnership to purchase Pisgah House from the
University and to return it to beneficial use.
However we have not
been able to persuade the University to sell Pisgah House because the
future of the entire Tapton Halls of Residence and Experimental Gardens
site is still uncertain. If the approved scheme does not go ahead there might be an opportunity to do
things better and to seriously consider alternatives for the
site that might enable the community to realise our aspirations, while
at the same time providing good value for the University. However there
are no signs that the University are willing to engage with the community over the future of the site.
Now visit our Community Garden Proposal page to see what we'd like to do with the Gardens if our campaign to save it is successful.
PLEASE HELP US!!