Shops complex compromise

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DEVELOPERS of a £46 million shopping complex in a South Yorkshire town have offered to compromise with a group fighting to preserve a right of way through the site.

Dransfield Properties was planning to divert the old Ford Lane, in Stocksbridge, up hill close to the bypass while it builds the new complex on part of the steelworks site in the valley bottom.

But users of the bridleway fought against the proposals, saying they were ‘unsuitable’ as a flat route would have been replaced with a longer, hilly diversion.

Barnsley-based Dransfield has now proposed an alternative involving keeping Ford Lane and running it through the retail park.

But a spokesman for the Steel Valley Way Group, which is fighting to preserve Ford Lane, said: “Although some limited compromise has been achieved and the official route is proposed to be put back on the flat there is still some way to go to create a safe, pleasant, environmentally friendly and welcoming bridleway.

“We could achieve so much more than the developer’s new proposals to run our old Ford Lane through the retail park itself, with all the imaginable compromises and setbacks this will bring.”

The group has secured hundreds of signatures on a petition supporting its campaign and is urging members of the public to help by lobbying Dransfield, councillors and Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith.