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Club car park to be used for new homes despite congestion worries

Objections: Councillors objected to planning board's decision to allow building in a club's car park
Objections: Councillors objected to planning board's decision to allow building in a club's car park
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A large section of a working men’s club car park will be taken up with a development of eight new apartments in a Rotherham village – despite objections from councillors over the expected impact on street parking in the area.

A large section of a working men’s club car park will be taken up with a development of eight new apartments in a Rotherham village – despite objections from councillors over the expected impact on street parking in the area.

Much of the car park at Wickersley WMC has been cleared for the development, leaving 17 spaces with a traffic survey suggesting the only time that would be inadequate for customers would be on busy Friday evenings.

But ward councillors and Wickersley Parish Council both questioned that and said they believed it would lead to increased congestion on Morthern Road, directly outside the club, at weekends and when it stage live performance events.

There were also concerns over the loss of a tree, currently covered by a tree preservation order, which will have to be felled to make way for the new development.

Rotherham Council’s planning board was told highways staff were satisfied the changes would not cause traffic problems in the area and the authority’s tree officer also said the condition of the tree also appeared to have deteriorated since it was given TPO status, no longer justifying its ‘category A’ status.

Rotherham Councillor and chairman of Wickersley Parish Council, Sue Ellis, told the meeting: “Our primary objection is the removal of the additional car parking. This leaves the WMC with only 17 spaces.

“We recognise a parking survey has been undertaken but was only for one week and is not representative of the WMC at the busiest times.

“The WMC is big, it has two large areas where they have acts and on those nights the car park is absolutely crammed. It spills onto Morthern Road. It is busy and has speed humps, it already gets congested.”

She also said the loss of the tree could not be compensated with another, because the space did not exist to do that on site.

Coun John Turner said he believed TPOs were “a joke”.

“They are placed to protect rural amenity but we are taking that visual amenity away,” he said.

Councillors approved the development, with eight in favour and five objecting.