Delays in restoring old Barnsley colliery site

Barnsley Town Hall: Planners will decide on future of pit site
Barnsley Town Hall: Planners will decide on future of pit site
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Restoration of a former Barnsley colliery site, first given planning permission a decade ago, could still take another two years following a long list of delays which has resulted in the need for a catalogue of planning applications.

Restoration of a former Barnsley colliery site, first given planning permission a decade ago, could still take another two years following a long list of delays which has resulted in the need for a catalogue of planning applications.

The former Carlton Colliery also included a coking works but it went with the demise of the mining industry and Barnsley Council granted planning permission to restore the site – which included removing ash and shale deposits – in 2008, with plans to create a large pond on part of the site.

Although the work went ahead and the pond was created, the scheme has been hit by numerous other delays and those involved in work on the site, which is off Shaw Lane in Carlton.

The organisation now involved in the work took over in 2013 and is now asking for permission to extend the timescale by two more years, as well as changing arrangements for access to the site with the anticipation of more lorries going in and out.

Council planners say there are no reasons for the work to cause problems and are recommending that councillors approve the application, though two residents in the area have raised objections.

They are worried about issues including illegal flytipping outside the gates to the site, graffiti, odours which they attribute to waste on the site and the potential for mud on the road because of lorries coming and going.

One has suggested their house has been left unsalable because of the ongoing work and that noise pollution would be a problem.

They also say that material taken onto the site for the restoration work has not been used for that purpose and a report by council planners states: “There are large stockpiles of material awaiting crushing and screening to be used in the restoration of the site, these are believed to pre-date the current ownership and may be material which formed part of the colliery site. There has been no importation of any materials since late 2014.”

Restoration work should leave the land suitable for future development.

Councillors have been told: “This site has a long history of permissions for the restoration of this former colliery site, although little progress has been made over the years, due to the changes in availability of materials for the reclamation due to changes in waste legislation, and the removal of ash from the site.

“In the 2016 the applicant proposed that an additional access arrangements and highway infrastructure improvements would allow for an increased number of HGV movements and shorten the timeframe for the completion of the reclamation works, thereby reducing the impact on local residents and members may recall granting permission for this.

“However this permission was never implemented. The current proposal is to extend the timescale for a further two years. The agent acting on behalf of the applicant has indicated that the approved remediation plans are suitable for residential development.”

The site appears on Barnsley Council’s forthcoming Local Plan for ‘mixed use’ development. The Local Plan is a blueprint for housing and commercial growth in the years ahead and, if it is included in that document, the council expects it to be developed.

A decision will be made when the planning board meets on Tuesday.