A group of so called ‘new age travellers’ who had set up camp on land adjacent to the site of the former Sheffield Ski Village have been evicted.
The group initially set up camp in the area more than ten years ago when the dry ski slope centre, once Europe’s largest by some measurements, was in a state of decline, but before it closed after the first of many fires destroyed key buildings in 2012.
The site is now being earmarked for a new outdoor sports centre and the ‘new travellers’ community is not seen as part of that future by the site’s developers and the local council.
The council won a case they brought last year at Sheffield County Court to evict the travellers. The travellers argued that they could move around the site to avoid interfering with the new centre’s development but the judge ruled that such a policy was contrary to the “commercial realities” of the plans and gave the council the go ahead to evict.
“I would like to thank the travelling community for the support they have shown our officers today and over the last few years we have been working with them,” said Janet Sharpe, director of housing and neighbourhood services at Sheffield City Council.
Sheffield City Council plans to create what they describe as, “…an internationally-recognised sport and leisure destination,” at the site of the former Ski Village, where several of Britain’s current top freestyle skiers and boarders including James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, first learned their skills, in partnership with Extreme Destinations.
The 21-hectare site will include a modern ski slope, mountain biking trails, a hub building with shops, bars and restaurants as well as visitor accommodation, alongside a major international operator.
The Council expects that initial phases of the site could boost the Sheffield economy with investment of up to £40m, and once the entire scheme is complete that could eventually top £60million, more than 400 new jobs and a million new visitors to the city each year.