Masterplan revealed for scheme to create up to 3000 new jobs at site close to Sheffield

A masterplan for “employment land” in the Dearne Valley has been approved by Barnsley Council’s cabinet today (September 22).

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:16 pm

The site, known at ES10 in the council’s local plan, will be allocated as employment land, to the south of the Dearne Valley Parkway – and could create up to 3,000 jobs when complete.

It was formerly green belt land, but was reallocated for employment use in the local plan in 2019.

If the masterplan is approved at full council later this month, the 73-hectare site will provide “new employment opportunities”, and detailed plans are expected at a later date.

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Councillor Sir Steve Houghton, leader of the council, added that he has “never been as optimistic about the future of the borough as I am now,” during today’s cabinet meeting when the plans were approved.

An online petition against the plans has amassed more that 500 signatures, stating that the plans would “destroy our wildlife, increase our noise pollution and ruin our scenic areas”.

A report to council states that feedback from the public consultation included concerns about the impact of the proposals on wildlife, noise and light pollution, screening from existing buildings and air quality and traffic along the A635 towards the A1.

“A group of residents made contact about their objections and referenced a petition with around 300 signatures, although to date this has not been presented to the council,” the report adds.

Councillor Robert Frost told today’s cabinet meeting that officers have worked with Doncaster Council’s highways department “to fully understand concerns regarding congestion and air quality to the neighbouring villages of Hickleton and Marr.”

Councillor Chris Lamb added that a number of changes had been made to the masterplan “as a result of public consultation”.

Councillor Houghton, told the meeting that although the local plan has been “controversial in some parts,” has given the borough an “economic foundation for the future”.

“It’s felt like for years we were swimming against the tide, trying to stop things getting worse. All we were every trying to do is trying to repair the damage that the pit closures left us.

“We’ve built a platform that people can be hugely optimistic about.”

Councillor Lamb added: “There may still be some people who will be nay-sayers, who will criticise this development, but the majority of people who live there, who have been without work, are seeing this as a significant and important step forward.”