Village's Neighbourhood Plan moves forwards after years of work

Villagers in Oxspring have fought housing plans from both Barnsley Council and developers.
Villagers in Oxspring have fought housing plans from both Barnsley Council and developers.
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Long awaited proposals for a Neighbourhood Plan – effectively a smaller brother to borough-wide Local Plans which councils have to produce – is now moving forwards for the Barnsley parish of Oxspring after delays caused by uncertainty over Barnsley Council’s proposals.

Oxspring Parish Council and residents started work on the plan, which will carry legal weight if adopted, years ago and their proposals cover a series of topics for future development in the area.

The most contentious is housing, with early drafts of the plan stipulating that new housing should be restricted to ‘infill’ sites and small developments.

That put the plan at odds with Barnsley Council, which identified two sites alongside the River Don for new housing and development firm Yorkshire Land, which has ambitions to develop fields on the edge of the village for housing.

Barnsley Council has since withdrawn its proposals and the Yorkshire Land site is not included in Barnsley Council’s Local Plan, covering housing and commercial developments into the 2030s.

That plan is currently out for consultation, though Yorkshire Land claim it does not include enough housing development to meet Government demands and is still pressing for its Oxspring development to move forwards.

Notwithstanding that, details of the Oxspring plan have now been put out to consultation, which will go on into mid-September.

Eventually, a vote will be held in the parish to determine whether it is adopted and, if so, planners will be obliged to take account of its contents when making decisions on future planning applications.