Park Hill Newsletter - Autumn 2021
Park Hill Residents' Association

Park Hill Residents' Association

Autumn 2021 Newsletter
PHRA logo
Message from the Chair

Welcome to the latest newsletter. Park Hill Residents’ Association (PHRA) works for residents, tenants and leaseholders alike, both to enhance the pleasure of living in Park Hill and to help maximise the value and the quality of the services that we receive. In line with recent communication from Great Places, PHRA is working with them to find a way to offer a more formal way of influencing the services provided and the setting of the associated charges. This includes working together to select the management agent. All of this will be discussed at the upcoming 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) which you can find out more about below.

This newsletter includes articles on a range of events and initiatives that have recently taken place; we hope that you have both valued them and support their future development. None of the events or actions, or this newsletter, could exist without the efforts of a team of volunteers and we thank all of those involved for their contribution to the community. We hope that you will take every opportunity to join them and participate as the occasions arise. Most of all, be sure to come to the AGM and have your 
say about Park Hill’s services, the future direction of our community, the practical issues, the friendships and the fun.

This month, PHRA is also very pleased to welcome to our community the students now living in the latest refurbished Park Hill wing, B
éton House. Students are very welcome to attend events and we encourage you to get involved in PHRA and our working groups if you have skills to share or would like to get experience! 

Ernest E.

Sheffield District Heating Network

[Image credit: PHRA]

Now that the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are beginning to drop slightly as we head into Autumn, I thought I would shed a bit of light on Sheffield's ever-expanding district heating network, which has been providing energy to the inner city area of Sheffield for over 30 years and Park Hill flats for 60 years. I know there will be curious minds among us wondering where our energy comes from and exactly how the heating network that we are connected to functions. So I did a bit of research on this topic and also picked the brain of Richard Bent, who is a commercial manager on the district energy scheme at Veolia, to get some of his expertise on the matter.
Long before the establishment of the current district heating network, Park Hill and Hyde Park flats were connected by a series of underground pipes in the 1960's and they had their own facility for generating heat via a central oil-fired boiler. This was the original district network in Sheffield and this formed the basis of the network as we know it now, which has gradually expanded ever since then. In the 1970's these two buildings ceased using the oil boiler and replaced the previous system by connecting to an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), which would burn waste for residents there instead and feed it back as energy. In 1987, a company named Sheffield Heat & Power Ltd took complete control over the district network, which was a joint venture with Sheffield City Council, and from this point onwards the network really began to develop under their management. Shortly after they took over, a further pipeline was introduced to extend the network up to the Norfolk Park area and then the main growth occurred in the 1990’s, with the majority of the city centre becoming connected to the network in this decade. 
Fast-forwarding on from the rapid expansion since the late 80's and following the reconnection of Park Hill flats in 2012 (after the refurbishment of Phase One), Sheffield now not only boasts the oldest, but the largest district heating network in the UK. This is based on numerous metrics such as energy usage figures, pipeline length and number of customers/connected buildings, in comparison to other cities with similar networks like Nottingham and Southampton. In terms of residential properties, the Sheffield network provides heating for 6,000 homes across 26 buildings, provided for by pipelines spanning 27 miles across our city. There are also over a hundred commercial buildings and landmarks which have their energy provided by our network, such as The Crucible, Lyceum and Sheffield City Hall.
So how does the system work? All of the non-recyclable waste we dispose of at Park Hill gets picked up and transported by Veolia (who have managed Sheffield's waste since 2001) to the nearby ERF on Bernard Road (see the opening photo of the article for an exterior shot), which was built at the cost of 80 million pounds in the early 2000's and opened in 2006. That collected waste is dropped into a storage bunker at the facility and then lifted from that bunker by a crane at a rate of 28 tonnes per hour and fed into an incineration unit where it is burned at 850°C.

[Image credit: Veolia]

Then there is a boiler above the incinerator which generates steam at 400°C from the heat of the exhaust gases and that steam then passes through a steam turbine to generate electricity and also through heat exchangers to produce hot water. This process provides Veolia with up to 45MW of low carbon thermal energy for the district heating and up to 21MW of electrical energy (enough to provide power for over 25,000 homes) which gets fed back to the National Grid.

[Image credit: Veolia]

That hot water (or thermal energy) produced through that process is then delivered back to the boiler house at Park Hill through a system of underground pipes at the temperature of 110°C and is subsequently circulated to our apartments here. Thank you to Jim, the building manager, for facilitating access to the boiler house (located in the corner of the secure car park), the rarely-seen workings of which can be seen in the photographs below.

[Image credits: PHRA]

The Energy Recovery Facility will generate about 100,000 megawatt hours of energy from 120,000 tonnes of waste burned per year, on average. One of the queries I had for Richard was if he was able to provide any statistics for our energy consumption and to put the consumption of Park Hill into context, we are one of the top ten consumers connected to the Sheffield network.
I mentioned it was low carbon energy before because the network prevents 21,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere each year, since fossil fuels are not used in this process. As well as the energy for district heating providing lower carbon emissions than other fuel sources, it is also 20% more efficient in comparison with only 0.08kg of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour produced by users. To put that into perspective, the oil boiler that residents used in the 1960's would have produced something in the region of 0.268kg per KWH. 
The areas of Sheffield that Veolia deal with for the network are split into two separate lines and you can take a look at these in this map which was produced by Perform Green. Our flats are part of the first, original line and this covers 12km of ground between Park Hill and Norfolk Park, providing heat for Castle College as well as residential homes in these two areas. The second line covers a greater distance, with 31km of pipelines distributing the energy throughout the city centre and Netherthorpe, going right up to Weston Park Hospital and the edge of Broomhill. What is not shown in this map however is a separate additional line covered by EON, which was established in 2015 and provides for the Lower Don Valley area. In this line, buildings such as Forgemasters and the Motorpoint Arena are supplied by heat from the Blackburn Meadows renewable energy plant in Tinsley. The Sheffield network is growing all the time and they are constantly looking for ways to decarbonise and add extra resilience to it.
I have asked Veolia if it would be possible for our residents to go on a tour of the ERF in the future and I am just waiting for them to come back to me on that, so we will be sure to keep everyone in the loop.
Joe D.
Residents’ Photo Competition

[Image credit: Rebecca Tovey]

A big thank you to everyone who entered our recent residents’ photo competition to celebrate 60 years since the official opening of Park Hill. The submissions captured Park Hill in many different ways and reflected the estate well at this point in its history. Many thanks also to the judges who gave their time - Ernest Edmonds, Mandy Payne, Sean Madner and Martin Dust - and those who gave their support.

Congratulations to Rebecca Tovey whose photograph ‘Park Hill 1’ was chosen as the winner by the judges who described it as “well executed, with a great mood and composition. The beautifully captured scene is so evocative of a Park Hill winter and it shares a good message with details like the text of the poster working well to give the viewer some context.”. As part of her prize, Rebecca’s winning photo was displayed on digital billboards at Sheffield Railway Station on 19th August (World Photography Day). It is also included, alongside the runners up and a selection of other entries, in our exhibition at Weston Park Museum which continues until the 19th December. We hope you take the opportunity to visit and don’t forget to pick up a free postcard of the prize-winning photos (while stocks last)!

[Image credit: PHRA]

The final ambition of the competition is to produce a lasting record of the entries and Park Hill in 2021 through the publication of a limited edition (of 60) photobook. We are working with HumanStudio (27 Gilbert) to develop the book, meaning this will be a largely Park Hill-based endeavour. We will also support local businesses by using Sheffield-based printers. We are close to a final draft, so hope to have it published and available for purchase soon to raise funds for PHRA. Copies will also be awarded to the competition prize winners and one will be donated to the Sheffield City Archives. All the competition submissions are available to view online in a gallery on our website.

Jonathan K.

Park Hill Pavilion
Nikon camera

[Image credit: S1 Artspace]

S1 Artspace would like to extend a huge thanks to the residents of Park Hill for their involvement, attendance and feedback on our recent Park Hill Pavilion exhibition, which was developed in collaboration with the Sheffield School of ArchitectureThe exhibition received over 1,300 visitors in person and online via our virtual 3D tour, and welcomed group visits from Longley Park Sixth Form College and Sheffield Architecture Association. The project was featured in Now Then magazine, BBC Radio Sheffield and received 123 individual responses to the proposals. This combined feedback will now help steer a final design that will be developed and constructed at Park Hill in 2022 by Sheffield based architectural practice OS31.

Our hope is that the Park Hill Pavilion project can become a recurring feature in our programme to introduce new temporary spaces, functions and possibilities at Park Hill for community engagement, whist also supporting and profiling young architectural practices across the city. 
We look forward to updating you on progress at your November AGM.

Louise H. 

Bears of Sheffield

[Image credit: Bears of Sheffield]

Over the last two months, Park Hill has been home to two new residents as part of the Bears of Sheffield Trail. The bears have proven to be a popular attraction for residents and visitors alike! The trail was live until September 29th, with the bears being removed following this as part of the Bears of Sheffield Auction. All proceeds made from the sale of the bears will go towards The Children’s Hospital Charity (TCHC).

Victoria W.

Litter Picks

[Image credit: PHRA]

The summer litter picks have been a huge success. We've had plenty of people attending from both inside and outside Park Hill, as well as a wide range of ages (I think four was the youngest!) There's been a really good atmosphere at each of our picks, and a few visits to South Street Kitchen afterwards for coffee and cake.

The litter picks will be continuing into the autumn, happening monthly (except for in December). Due to the cooler, darker months, these upcoming litter picks will be shorter so that they are one hour in duration, rather than two. Due to the greater risk of unfavourable weather, please keep an eye on the Park Hill Residents Group Facebook and Twitter pages for any amendments or canecellations. You can also email for more information. 

Sam G.

2021 Park Hill Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting

[Image credit: Sheffield Local Studies Library: 331.833 SF]

The Park Hill Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting will this year be held on Wednesday 17th November. As well as the reporting on PHRA activities and the election of committee officials, there will also be guest speakers and presentation of important updates on the oversight of the estate services. We are still finalising the venue and agenda at the time of writing but will be providing full details later in October via our social media, website events calendar, lobby posters and leaflets. We hope you can make it!

Solar Panels

[Image credit: Sheffield Renewables]

The Green Group are making progress looking into the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of Phase 1 of Park Hill. Social enterprise Sheffield Renewables have now done a site visit and looked at the roof of the building to make an assessment of how much usable space there is for solar panels.

If this plan goes ahead, none of the installation or maintenance costs would be met by residents, but they would benefit from a small rebate to the service charge, as well as knowing that the electricity used in the communal areas (lighting and lifts etc.) comes from renewable sources. If you'd like to get involved in this work, email

Sam G.

Big Bike Revival

[Image credit: Cycling UK]

PHRA have successfully bid for funds from Cycling UK to hold FREE monthly bicycle maintenance events until the end of the year as part of the Big Bike Revival. These are being delivered by Park Hill resident Tom Mutton who has significant experience in the cycling industry and is at the forefront of improving cycling provision for the estate. Two events will be held each day and you are welcome to sign up for either or both of them.

Dr Bike
Drop off your bicycle at the main entrance (opposite the Sales Office) for a check over and tune up to keep you riding safely. Minor repairs will be made where time and parts allow and advice given on any recommended work or parts that need replacing in the future.

[Image credit: Fab Collignon]

Learn to fix
Attend a ‘Learn to fix’ session, held in the lobby, where you will be taught how to maintain and repair your bicycle yourself (Limited to 4 places per session to allow for social distancing and effective learning).

The remaining dates are:

  • Sunday 31st October
  • Sunday 21st November
  • Sunday 19th December

Simply email to arrange a bicycle health check for a 30 minute time slot between 10:00 and 16:00 or to book a place on the ‘Learn to fix’ sessions which will be held between 16:00 and 18:00. Pre-booking is mandatory but is not restricted to Park Hill residents, so please share with anyone you know who may be interested.

Jonathan K.

Park Hill Provisions

[Image credit: Urban Splash]

The opening date of Park Hill’s first convenience store has now been confirmed as late October 2021. Based at Béton House on the site of the Parkway Tavern, Park Hill Provisions will add to the growing amenities on site. The signage of the double fronted 1890 sqft store has been designed to fit in with other notices around the site that are intended to reflect the heritage and shape of Park Hill.

Victoria W.

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Park Hill Residents' Association
Sheffield S2, United Kingdom
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