Concern as plans to build houses next to Doncaster Lakeside 'beach' set to move forward

Dragon boat race at Doncaster Lakeside
Dragon boat race at Doncaster Lakeside
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Construction work looks set to start next to a shore at Doncaster Lakeside known as 'Doncaster beach' - prompting fears from residents that major events could be lost.

Construction work looks set to start next to a shore at Doncaster Lakeside known as 'Doncaster beach' - prompting fears from residents that major events could be lost.

Builders have promised to maintain access for the general public to the pebble 'beach' next to Airborne Road, but nearby residents fear for the future of activities such as dragon boat racing, and jet ski competitions, which have used the grassed area that is due to be built on to park vehicles and supporting equipment.

Lovell Partnerships have now put in a planning application to re-jig the finer points of the scheme - but planning permission is now already in place to build on the site, which lies opposite the Doncaster Central East Premier Inn and the Cheswold pub, at Lakeside.

Lovell took over the plans after a previous developer had walked away from the scheme.

A Lovell spokesman said: “The proposed Doncaster Lakeside development is set to create 147 new homes on just under 5.6 hectares of land. The waterfront ‘beach’ area does not form part of the development site and will remain accessible by the existing footpath with access unaffected both during construction and afterwards.”

But Bessacarr resident, Andy Hillier, said he and many other residents were concerned over the plans.

He said: "The lake was supposed to have been a recreational area for the people of Doncaster to enjoy, not another housing/office development opportunity. They may as well fill the lake in and build on that for all the investment it's had.

"I don't think many people know about this. People take their dogs for walks there a lot. I can't see how they'll be able to do events from there. You could use the beach but there would be nowhere to park."

Peter Dale, director of regeneration and environment, at the council, said: “The new housing development would not affect the beach at Lakeside. People will still be able to access it using the existing paths. Small events like paddle boarding can still take place on the lake and we will be working closely with the organisers of bigger events to provide them with the appropriate infrastructure. The annual dragon boat race is the only event affected at this time and it is still going ahead this year with the teams using a floating platoon accessed from the side of the lake closest to the Keepmoat Stadium.”

When the housing plans were first announced, Belle Vue resident Lucy Roberts, said: “It’s the only area left around the lake that has not already been built on or is not overtaken by businesses.

“I have two boys and we like to go have picnics in that area during the summer – we call it the beach area. If they build 150 houses there won’t be anywhere for us to go anymore."

Lakeside resident Dr Thomas Miller also objected at the time.

He said: "Being so close to the lake and shale beach it will completely change the ambience of the area and cast a large dominant shadow with complete loss of openness in the area. In my opinion this portion of the lake with its shale beach and view of the two islands is the most picturesque portion of the lake. It will be a sad loss if it is completely destroyed by high density residential development."