Housing plans drawn up for Earth Centre site

The public-funded white elephant The Earth Centre, has now been redeveloped and re-opened as Kingswood Dearne Valley educational facility. The Earth Centre was created by Doncaster Council for the millennium but failed as a visitor attraction, it was purchased for an 'undisclosed sum' by Kingswood last year. (Photograph by Jonathan Pow | http://rossparry.co.uk)

The public-funded white elephant The Earth Centre, has now been redeveloped and re-opened as Kingswood Dearne Valley educational facility. The Earth Centre was created by Doncaster Council for the millennium but failed as a visitor attraction, it was purchased for an 'undisclosed sum' by Kingswood last year. (Photograph by Jonathan Pow | http://rossparry.co.uk)

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Plans for a major new housing development on the site of the former Earth Centre in Doncaster are under consideration.

Developers hope to build 177 homes and garages on land formerly used as car parks at the failed visitor attraction which went into administration and was mothballed in 2004.

After being awarded £41.6 million by the Millennium Commission to get started, the attraction failed to attract the numbers it needed to stay afloat.

Much of the 400 acre site is now occupied by a residential educational adventure centre, which opened in 2012 after it was revealed that the cost of upkeep to Doncaster Council was £200,000 a year.

Now Doncaster Council planners are looking at the housing proposal for the site at Kilners Bridge, Denaby Main.

Sheffield developer Gleeson should receive feedback on the application within the next couple of months.

A spokesman for the company, that also has substantial current developments in Finningley, said the Earth Centre project would be ‘very much in the traditional Gleeson style’ with a good mix of house types aimed at the lower end of the market.

But councillors are keen to study the plans in detail with a view to address any potential concerns about access from the busy main road running from Conisbrough to Mexborough.

Coun Sandra Holland said: “I will be looking at the plans in detail.

“There is a need for more housing in this area so on the face of it I would welcome the plans. The site also creates problems as people use it for fly tipping so it would be better put to good use.

“But we would need to be sure that the infrastructure is suitable and that there are services to support the number of people and properties.”

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