Public encouraged to get involved in consultations over major Barnsley development
Special consultation sessions will be held to provide the opportunity for those at the heart of protests against a major development in Barnsley to play a role in how the project actually develops.
A development including 1,700 new homes, a school, industry and roads is a cornerstone of the authority’s Local Plan, a blueprint for the borough’s progress into the 2030s and will soak up a large green field site between the communities of Pogmoor, Gawber, Higham and Barugh Green.
That plan was adopted early this year and the development is so large the council wants to form its own ‘masterplan’ for the area, rather than allowing piecemeal development, in order to achieve the best results for both existing residents in the area and the borough’s overall development.
The plan attracted widespread opposition before the Local Plan was adopted and the council is now turning to the Keep It Green group, one of the bodies at the forefront of objections, with an offer of their own consultations as they work to set out details of how the site will develop.
A tenants and residents group will be offered the same option, alongside conventional public consultation sessions – which will provide information which will contribute to the final proposals for the area.
Coun Sharon Howard said: “It is vitally important residents have their say on how that site will be developed, with the layout etc.
“Redbrook TARA and the Keep It Green group will have their own separate consultation as well as the public consultation,” she said.
Council leader Sir Steve Houghton told a meeting of the council’s ruling Cabinet: “If we don’t develop a masterplan we are at the behest of developers coming and putting their own proposals in.
“It is better to get the best proposals we can, rather than leaving it to the market.
“We are going over and above what you would normally do, so people have the opportunity to comment and get it right,” he said.
One element of the plan will be sections of major new road which, it is anticipated, will help to remove heavy traffic from local roads such as Higham Common Lane.
Traffic issues on that road have been the focus of council attention previously, but without the new development there would have been no relief road to take pressure off that route, said Sir Steve.
Similar consultations to set out how another large site, around Hoyland, will develop have already been launched by the council