Housing target reduced

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A PUBLIC consultation on a blueprint for housing, jobs, investment and growth in Rotherham over the next 15 years has been approved.

Rotherham Council’s ruling cabinet has approved the ‘exciting’ plans in its draft Local Development Framework and during July, August and September, the public are to be asked their views.

The housing target has been reduced by 27 per cent to 850 new homes per year – a total of 12,750 homes to be built until 2027 to meet the housing shortage.

Meanwhile, the amount of land planned for new business and industry has been reduced by 30 per cent with around 230 hectares proposed for new economic development and five hectares for new offices.

And the amount of Green Belt land to be released for development has been reduced by 60 per cent to a maximum of 440 hectares with the authority maintaining a ‘brownfield first’ approach and the phased release of Green Belt towards the end of the 15 year period.

Officials say this is a big reduction in the amount of Green Belt land where development will be permitted compared to when work on the strategy began two years ago.

But opponents fear hundreds of homes will still be built in the areas which have until now been protected from development.

Simon Collett who started a petition and lives in Greasbrough, one of the proposed building areas, said: “All that we’ve been given is an A5 leaflet about the document, which was very vague, to say the least.”

During the public consultation, Rotherham Council said people will be able to give their views and preferences on both the overall proposals and which sites in their local areas should be developed - and which should be protected.

Eleven new conservation areas, where development is restricted, are proposed.

Rotherham Council leader, Coun Roger Stone, said: “We have already reacted to the first consultation and made considerable adjustments and we want the public to make their views known again when the consultation starts next month.”

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