Work starts to fine tune planning for Barnsley’s biggest new homes and industry development

Consultations are being proposed on a major development which will see a large area of green fields between Barnsley suburbs being swallowed up for housing and industry – a move which sparked controversy when it was suggested by the council.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th August 2019, 12:31 pm
Green fields between Barugh Green, Higham, Gawber and Pogmoor will be soaked up by homes and other developments

The decision to build on the space, between Pogmoor, Gawber, Higham and Barugh Green, has already been taken because the fields involved have been earmarked for development under Barnsley Council’s Local Plan, which sets out how the entire borough will develop in terms of housing and industry in the years ahead.

Before the proposals were adopted, there was fierce opposition to the scheme with an orchestrated campaign involving former Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley which argued against the proposals at a hearing into the Local Plan, heard by a planning inspector.

She ruled in favour and the Local Plan was adopted in January, but the scale of the changes is so great it requires its own council ‘masterplan’ to ensure local needs are met as the development progresses.

As a result, members of the council’s ruling Cabinet are now being asked to approve community consultation over the way the development will progress.

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They will cover developments which will result in around 1,700 new homes being built and 43 hectares of land opened up for new industry on a green field site straddled by the four existing communities.

The site is seen as attractive because of its proximity to the M1 and Barnsley Council say much of the land involved was previously mined through open-casting and later refilled.

They say formulating a masterplan will “reduce any adverse impacts to acceptable levels and provide distinctive, high quality places that successfully merge with the existing area to deliver sustainable communities”.

The scale of the development is such that it will include a new primary school, shops and community facilities.

To provide access a new link road will have to be built, but there will be open spaces with wildlife corridors, watercourses and ‘key pedestrian and cycle links’, according to the the council.

Coun Tim Cheetham, Cabinet spokesman for Regeneration and Culture, said the site was the “largest masterplan area proposed in Barnsley from the Local Plan and it’s important we consider the impact of the potential development through this framework.

“This includes overall infrastructure requirements such as a new primary school, community use, and environmental enhancements such as accessible public open space.

"The consultation will provide nearby communities with the chance to get involved and help shape the development. We look forward to working together with residents and businesses to make Barnsley a better place to live, work, invest and visit."

Members of the council’s ruling Cabinet are now being asked to give their approval to consultations starting.