Objections to plans for 200 houses in Rotherham that residents claim will be a ‘disaster’

A community group has objected to plans for more than 200 homes on former green belt land, which is adjacent to another site which has permission for 450 homes.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 10:57 am
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 11:42 am

A community group has objected to plans for more than 200 homes on former green belt land, which is adjacent to another site which has permission for 450 homes.

Members of the Whiston Residents Action Group (WRAG) objected to a planning application for up to 217 houses on fields which were part of the green belt until they were allocated for housing in Rotherham Council’s local plan.

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Outline plans were submitted for the homes, off Shrogswood Road in Whiston, in January, with access taken from the junction for the entrance to the golf club.

Outline plans were submitted for the homes, off Shrogswood Road in Whiston, in January, with access taken from the junction for the entrance to the golf club.

More than 130 comments have been lodged with RMBC, mostly objecting to the plans, but the council say the plans are under consideration, and they are required by law to allocate enough land to provide 900 to be built each year.

Residents have cited concerns about the area becoming overwhelmed with developments, as an application for 450 houses was granted outline permission for the land adjacent to the site.

Within a two mile radius, more than 1,000 homes are planned, including 320 on Moor Lane South, in Ravenfield, which were approved in February 2021, and 70 homes on Brecks Lane, which are awaiting a decision; and the two developments in Whiston totalling 667.

Outline plans were submitted for the homes, off Shrogswood Road in Whiston, in January, with access taken from the junction for the entrance to the golf club.

Residents are also concerned about the cumulative impact of 280 homes on Oldcotes Road, Dinnington, which were approved March 2021 – residents say traffic from Dinnington, Thurcroft and Aughton often use Worrygoose Lane at peak times.

The Whiston Residents Action Group (WRAG), say the development could be a ‘disaster’ for the area, which already suffers long GP waiting times, traffic congestion and surface water run off.

Andrew Claxton, Chair of the Whiston Residents Action Group, said: “This development could be a disaster for the local community.

“Residents are acutely aware of very long waiting times for GP appointments and a lack of capacity in all the local schools.

“The A631 East Bawtry Road is already heavily congested at peak times and the Worrygoose Lane sewage station discharges into the local Brook almost weekly, with additional flooding causing further misery for Whiston residents.

“We simply cannot see how massive developments of this nature are of any benefit , except of course to the planning applicant”.

The group has received cross-party support from their area councillors, and Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford has also lodged a formal objection.

Mr Stafford said: “We must now fight this application based on the impact it will have to the local community, in particular, road congestion on East Bawtry Road, Worrygoose Lane and other roads in Whiston and Broom, as well as the concerns about flooding, ecological impact and strain on public services such as schools and GPs.

“I think most people agree that we need to build more new homes; however, they need to be the right homes in the right place.

“I know residents in Whiston village are immensely concerned about the drainage issues. I am also very concerned about the cumulative impact of this development on the road network and how the site will be accessed via Shrogswood Road.”

Paul Woodcock, Rotherham Council’s strategic director for regeneration and environment, said: “The planning application for 217 dwellings is currently under consideration. All matters relating to traffic congestion, impact on local services, drainage and public objections will be considered as part of the application process prior to being presented to the Planning Board.”

“The council is required by law to make enough land to allow 900 properties to be built each year, and the sites have been agreed after multiple rounds of public consultation over several years.”