Campaigners urge developer to save right of way

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RESIDENTS in a South Yorkshire town are urging the developer of a major shopping scheme to compromise and change plans which would result in the diversion of an ancient right of way.

Stocksbridge’s Green Corridor campaigners, The Steel Valley Way Group, are calling on Barnsley firm Dransfield, which is developing a major shopping scheme in the town, to retain Ford Lane, which is set to be diverted.

The group wants Ford Lane to be kept and used as part of a planned heritage trail running along the valley bottom to link Stocksbridge to Deepcar and the Trans Pennine Trail.

A spokesman for The Steel Valley Way Group said: “This project is threatened by the loss of Ford Lane, which is part of the route which links Stocksbridge and its town centre.

“Dransfield plans to close Ford Lane and divert the public right of way up alongside the currently private Tata Steel bypass road and an alternative flat route will be provided through their retail park.

“Both of these routes planned by the developer are simply not fulfilling the requirements of the local community and its need to create something special for those less fortunate and the future of our town.

“With a little thought, they could achieve much more of a stunning development by listening and incorporating ideas, just like what has been achieved by the Sheaf Valley walk which was created in the south of Sheffield, with part of the route a green corridor running alongside the Tesco Store on Abbeydale Road.

“Exactly what we are trying to create.

A public inquiry is to be held in September into Dransfield’s multi-million pound plans, which cover part of the steelworks site and are set to create hundreds of jobs, after pressure from the group.