Controversial South Yorkshire church plans recommended for refusal

Common Road, North Anston. Picture: Google.
Common Road, North Anston. Picture: Google.
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Plans to build a church on green belt land in South Yorkshire are expected to be turned down for the third time.

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have had previous attempts to build a place of worship on Common Lane, North Anston, turned down in 2013 and 2015.

Last year, it announced proposals to build a church as well as new multi-million pound sports facilities for Anston Rangers Junior Football.

But the application is expected to be turned down by Rotherham Borough Council's planning board following a recommendation for refusal by officers.

In a report to councillors, officers said the proposal would be inappropriate for the green belt and that the football facilities were not necessary as they already had premises.

The report said: "It is considered that the sports pitches and car parking facilities proposed at Common Road are not necessary, given the level of facilities outlined above at the existing ground where the football club play, and are inappropriate as a result.

"In addition, if Greenlands Park was not available there is the former recreation ground at Lodge Lane, which is in close proximity to both Greenland’s Park and the application site and is currently vacant with pitches that potentially could be used for Sunday league games. This site was not one assessed in the applicant’s submission.

"Accordingly, the new facilities constitute inappropriate development in the Green Belt due to their size and scale having a negative impact on the openness and the argument put forward that the facilities are needed is not considered to constitute very special circumstances that would overcome the inappropriateness in this instance."

A total 349 representations were sent to the council, 327 of which were in favour of the plans.

They said Common Road was blighted by fly-tipping and said it would provide new sporting facilities for youngsters in the area.

But objectors claimed it would lead to additional traffic and said it was inappropriate development in the green belt.