‘We’re not giving up’ protestors fighting homes plan on greenfield land meet with officials

Protesters at the site where 650 homes would be built in Edenthorpe
Protesters at the site where 650 homes would be built in Edenthorpe
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Protesters fighting plans to build 650 houses on greenfield land in Edenthorpe have turned out to make their case to planning officials.

Around 60 residents who want to stop the scheme went to speak to members of Doncaster Council planning committee as the authority carried out a site visit to Mere Lane, Edenthorpe, where the houses would be constructed.

A planning committee meeting tomorrow is expected to decide whether the project can go ahead. Council officers have recommended the planning permission is granted.

Among the protesters making their point at Mere Lane was Edenthorpe parish councillor Paul Bissett, who said: “There are a lot of objections from local residents.

“We have made our point, and we have been given 30 minutes to speak at a technical briefing ahead of the planning committee decision this week, and I expect there will be a large turnout of protesters on Tuesday. We may protest before the meeting.

“We have not given up on this. Where are all the children going to go if this goes ahead? There are not the places.

“If they expand Hungerhill School, it will lose playing fields.”

The Campaign to Protect Rural England is now backing the residents and its South Yorkshire representative joined the protesters.

Andrew Wood, CPRE South Yorkshire’s Planning Officer said: “This is not an allocated housing site - it’s in a stretch of countryside that is crucial to preventing Edenthorpe and Armthorpe from merging together. Despite revised footpath proposals, it’s a single road-access site that is virtually cut off from Edenthorpe. To build 650 homes that are so detached from the existing neighbourhoods and with no facilities of their own can’t possibly be said to be sustainable development.”

The Council education officers say the schools that would be affected include Edenthorpe Hall Primary School and Hungerhill Academy. They said Edenthorpe had no spare places and would require either expansion or new school provision. The existing school site was potentially unsuitable for further expansion so a new school may have to be built.

Education officers say Hungerhill in previous years has included children from outside of the catchment area, so the additional secondary places yielding from the development are likely to be able to be accommodated.

An officer’s report before the planning committee tomorrow states that the proposed development is considered to be acceptable on balance, and would contribute to meeting the housing target for the main urban area of Doncaster.

It added that the proposal aimed to deliver ‘a wide choice of high quality homes’, widen opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities, in accordance with council policies. Is stated the proposal was considered to be sustainably located and that the existing roads are capable of accommodating the extra traffic.