Protest over rural village masterplan

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CALLS have been made for a rethink of proposals to revamp the centre of a historic South Yorkshire village.

The Wharncliffe Estate has submitted its Wortley Masterplan to Barnsley Council, with details of housing, new employment space, more car parking and a sports field on 14 sites in the village, which is a conservation area.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England South Yorkshire is objecting to plans for two large detached houses on attractive open land that was formerly the estate’s deer park and is protected as part of the Green Belt.

John King, its planning officer, said: “There’s no real justification for sacrificing this valuable landscape for a couple of large houses.

“Although the Masterplan says that they are essential in order to fund improvements to Wortley’s infrastructure, there are enough new houses outside the Green Belt already in the plan and not a huge amount of new infrastructure needed.”

The organisation opposes chopping down eight trees to create 12 car parking spaces.

Mr King said: “Chopping down the trees is a terrible idea. Having cars parked in the woodland, which should be protected because it is Green Belt, will create an urban feel to this lovely rural area. There are plenty of other car parking spaces at other sites within the Masterplan. There’s no need for these.

“Overall, we are glad that there’s an attempt to develop a co-ordinated masterplan for the village. However, we really do think that it could be better. We’d like to see a bit more clarity about how houses are being allocated as affordable and for local people.”

The Wharncliffe Estate, which owns much of the village, said proposed changes are set to be completed over five years, with 18 new homes and a holiday cottage, eight offices and workshops.

Larger car parks, allotments, better roads and sport and leisure facilities are included.

A spokesman for the Wharncliffe Estate said: “We hope the plans will safeguard and enhance a place of historic interest, in such a way that it helps to improve the lives of existing and future residents.”