Anger at plans to house travellers in Rotherham quarry

Cllr Clive Jepson and Simon Bunker of the Kiveton Park Station Action Group outside the town hall
Cllr Clive Jepson and Simon Bunker of the Kiveton Park Station Action Group outside the town hall
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Residents fighting plans to house travellers in a disused quarry ‘not fit for anyone to live in’ have handed in a petition to council chiefs.

Kiveton Park Action Group says the proposal to use the old quarry on Dog Kennel Lane as pitches for traveller families in Rotherham Council’s draft local plan is ‘disgusting’.

They have highlighted the quarry’s potential dangers - which include a deep man-made pond, busy railway line, canal, electricity sub-station and steep quarry walls - as reasons why families with children should not live there.

This week campaigners handed over a petition with 1,300 signatures on to council chiefs.

Neil Munday, group chairman, said: “We believe the council has proposed this site knowing costs of rendering it habitable are prohibitive, deterring any would-be developer, landlord or social housing provider.

“We also believe they’ve chosen it because it’s hidden from view in an isolated part of the borough.

“We strongly feel the proposal discriminates against the gypsy and traveller community.”

One of the chief concerns is the distance from the site to amenities.

Rotherham town centre is ten miles away and Dinnington three miles.

Neil added: “This site is remote from the amenities that any functioning community needs.

“There are no primary schools, health centre, or shops within reasonable walking distance.

“The site is dark and suffers from the very loud and regular noise of passing trains.

“It is not a fit place for anyone – let alone young children – to live.”

The proposal for Rotherham’s planning blueprint is still under consultation and started in October.

The core strategy also recommends building 14,000 new homes in Rotherham over the next 15 years.

It is available to view on the council’s website as well as in local libraries and customer service centres.