Jobs and development boost for former Doncaster colliery site

The Rossington pit site
The Rossington pit site
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HUNDREDS of jobs are set to be created with the multi-million pound development of a village on the site of an old Doncaster pit which will further boost the regeneration of the borough.

Owners of the former Rossington Colliery want to build 1,200 homes, a supermarket, hotel, pub, restaurant and community centre on the derelict land.

They predict there will be 300 new retail jobs and up to 1,800 during construction of the houses.

A new primary school might also be built to serve the new estate, which the developers claim will provide an ‘attractive and sustainable new western gateway’ to the village when the planned airport link road from the M18 is finished.

The outline plans replace those for the projected ‘ecotown’ for Rossington that was doomed when Labour lost power in the 2010 General Election.

They have been submitted to Doncaster Council by Harworth Estates, the property division of UK Coal, for the redevelopment and regeneration of the former colliery which has lain vacant since its closure and demolition in 2007.

Yorkshire-based planning and design consultancy Spawforths have led a multi-disciplinary team in preparing the application and environmental statement, which is hot on the heels of the application for the new Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme road scheme and the recent approval for the Inland Port immediately to the west of the pit site.

The proposal is an integral part of the regeneration plans for Rossington and the wider area, with a link road from the new FARRRS road to Rossington passing through the site and transforming the access to and from the village with Doncaster and the motorway.

It has been welcomed by Rossington’s MP, Caroline Flint, who said last night: “The UK Coal application as a whole is the kind of regeneration that was always in mind when the eco town was first proposed and the plan makes use of an existing brownfield site.

“Crucially it opens up a western gateway – giving Rossington the direct link to the M18 that the village has always wanted.

“It is vital that the scheme provides for local jobs and apprenticeships and creates a good variety of new homes, to a very high environmental standard.

“At first glance, this scheme looks good for Rossington and good for Doncaster.”

Rossington ward councillor Barry Johnson added: “This is something Caroline and I have been championing for over a decade. The airport was the first big step, more recently we have the Inland Port, which will create thousands of jobs and now this scheme spells the start of the regeneration of Rossington itself and building of the FARRRS link road. Together these plans will change the south of Doncaster.”

The new development will provide up to 1,200 new homes, a local foodstore, community building, hotel, fast food restaurant, pub and land for a new primary school.

There will also be children’s play space and access to the new public open space provided on the restored spoil heap land to the south.

The spoil heap will be restored following the coal washing and recycling project being undertaken by Recycoal which has recently been granted planning permission.

Harworth Estates believes it will be a major catalyst for regeneration and investment within the area and the borough as a whole, and is consistent with the Council’s requirements for housing development over the next 15 years.

Strategic land director Tim Love, said: “Harworth Estates has worked hard since the closure of the colliery to bring forward the beneficial re-use of the site.

“The project is an integral part in delivering FARRRS and provides significant regeneration benefits to Rossington community.

“Harworth Estates will be working in close partnership with Doncaster Council, and other private sector contributors, and are looking forward to their continual involvement to ensure delivery over the next 15 years.”

Adrian Spawforth, managing director of Spawforths, said: “The project forms part of the ambitious regeneration aspirations for this area of Doncaster, and it is a fundamental element of those plans, not least given its relationship physically and financially to the new FARRRS road scheme which is being driven forward at significant speed.

“In that context, the application has been prepared and submitted in hugely challenging timescales.

“We have reached a scheme which can be delivered and which will offer a major regeneration benefit to Rossington and its residents.”

The site previously formed part of the EcoTown Proposals for Rossington which ultimately were shelved following the change in Government and the impact of the economic downturn on the viability of those proposals.

This scheme is therefore limited only to the site of the former colliery and will include the comprehensive remediation of the site to remove contaminants in the ground associated with the former coal mining use.

A decision is anticipated on the application this summer, with the initial works on the site clean-up and road link expected to start before the end of the year.