Vote to reject controversial Barnsley housing application withdrawn by councillors

A vote by councillors to reject an extension to a controversial housing development in a Barnsley village was reversed to allow their planning officers a fresh opportunity to negotiate with the developers.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 1:07 pm

The history of the green field site off New Smithy Avenue, Thurlstone, is complicated because an original application to put 21 homes on the site was rejected by councillors on road safety grounds but that decision was overturned by a planning inspector who decreed it was acceptable.

Barnsley Council was then asked to approve a second application to put a further nine homes on another part of the same site, effectively creating a larger cul-de-sac.

Planning officers - working on the principle that a planning inspector had cleared the first application - recommended the application for nine more homes should be approved.

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New Smithy Avenue, Thurlstone

However, councillors voted to reject that application though they did agree to detailed plans for the larger element of the application.

But following extended discussions, they then agreed to suspend the decisions to allow planning staff more time to discuss the application with the developer.

Coun Dave Greenhough, who represents the area and sits on the planning board, told colleagues: “I find it astounding, this has already been turned down with fewer houses on it and now we are being recommended to approve it with more houses.

“That, to me, doesn’t make any sense. I think it is ludicrous.”

The A628 which runs through the village had recently been awarded a large grant from the Department for Transport to improve road safety, he said. “I think this (development) will make the village of Thurlstone a far worse place to live.”Head of planning at the council, Joe Jenkinson, said the original application had been rejected over road safety concerns, because of the layout of a junction giving access onto then main road.

“The inspector took the view that when you look at accident statistics, there had barely been any.”

Coun Caroline Makinson asked if the whole development proposal for the site could be presented as a single application when it returns to the planning board.