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Housing plans turned down in row over gravel drives

Planning row: Councillors have rejected plans for new housing
Planning row: Councillors have rejected plans for new housing
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Planning permission for 96 new homes in a Barnsley village has been rejected by councillors in a row over the developer’s aim to use a gravel finish on the driveways.

Gleeson Developments have been in a long running stand-off with Barnsley Council over the type of drives it wants to use for homes in a large development at Lowfield Road, Bolton on Dearne, with an expectation of using gravel instead of the hard surface demanded by the council.

The issue has already been to a planning appeal, which the company lost, and it submitted an application for the final phase of the development which substituted some shared drives with a hard surface and involved flagged areas where car wheels would be expected to travel on each home’s individual drive.

But council officers advised councillors that was unsatisfactory and would still lead to gravel escaping onto the public roads, with councillors then voting unanimously to reject the application.

The decision leaves uncertainty about the future of the site, though Head of Planning Joe Jenkinson told councillors would “continue to pursue it”.

Options included prosecuting the company for failing to meet a planning condition for earlier work, or seeking an injunction.

However, he also stressed that the dispute was only about the construction method for the drives, with everything else about the proposed development being acceptable to the council.

Gleeson have argued that the gravel drives are more environmentally friendly because the construction emits less carbon dioxide, compared with traditional tarmac drives, and they allow rain water to soak away.