Old opencast workings force rethink on housing plan

Changed priorities: Land off Hoyland Road could now accommodate fewer new homes after land stability issues were identified
Changed priorities: Land off Hoyland Road could now accommodate fewer new homes after land stability issues were identified
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Plans to put around 160 new homes on a green field site in a Barnsley community have been dropped in favour of a new plan which would slash numbers by a third – but the development is unlikely to be seen as a victory for campaigners who have been fighting new homes in the district.

The reduction is because investigations have shown up problems with ground conditions, as the area originally proposed for housing in Hoyland was opencast in the last half of last century, leaving uncompacted ground which would make building homes on the entire site more complicated.

Instead, builders Hoyland Developments are seeking to drop the original planning permission for land off Hoyland Road and Hawshaw Lane and press ahead with a new application for fewer homes.

However, the change does not affect Barnsley Council’s ambition to see thousands of new homes around the area as part of its forthcoming new Local Plan, a blueprint which will identify key locations for both house building and job creation until the mid-2030s.

Documents submitted with the planning application stat that Hoyland Developments are currently working with the council on ‘masterplanning’ for other sites in the district including one capable of taking 70 dwellings to the west of Upper Hoyland Road, another to the north of Hoyland Road which may take 615 homes and a third off the Shortwood roundabout which could account for 80 new houses.

That would still leave other sites to be developed, because the council will need to accommodate more than 2,000 additional homes in the district if the Local Plan, which has yet to be approved, is given the go-ahead by a Government inspector.

A decision on that is due shortly.

The Hoyland and Hoyland Common areas will see significant developments if the Local Plan is approved, both in terms of new housing and commercial developments.

Barnsley Council’s Junction 36 development, using old colliery land off the Dearne Valley Parkway close to Junction 36 on the M1 is already advancing quickly and is regarded as a success in bringing fresh investment and employment to the area.

However, there have been concerns among residents that too much green space will be swallowed up if everything goes ahead, affecting the character of the area and a protest group has been voicing concerns for several years.

Under the plans for the Hoyland Road site, there would be two access points for vehicles, rather than the one agreed under the previous application.

However, it has already been accepted that roads in the area are capable of supporting the traffic generated by up to 250 new homes before any upgrades would be necessary.