Two areas of former green belt land, including one which straddles a village conservation area, have been approved for housing by Rotherham Council after they were made available for development as part of the authority’s recently adopted local plan.
The plan was introduced after a long planning process and is intended to act as a blueprint for the borough’s housing and economic development in the decades ahead.
It has meant making some land which previously had green belt protection available for development and in addition to the two sites now approved for development, council officers are aware of more planning applications expected in the near future for other sites which have lost their protection.
Strong opposition was mounted to an application by Duchy Homes to build 28 homes at Penny Piece Lane in North Anston, on a sloping site where the boundary of a conservation area cuts through the land.
Duchy Homes became involved after another larger developer pulled out and that saw the expected number of homes tumble for original plans from around 50, to a smaller number of four and five bedroomed homes, with a dozen bungalows to be given over to affordable housing.
However, there were many objections from residents in the area regarding the scale of the houses against existing homes and several spoke at a planning board meeting where the development was approved.
Ashleigh Dickens told the meeting: “Penny Piece Lane is already one of the most dangerous roads in the area. It is a really, really long road. Surely it is the council’s obligation to protect everyone?”
Mr S Thomas also raised road safety concerns and said: “I travel down that road every single day. It is unusual to go on there and not be involved in a near miss.”
Council staff have assessed the site and believe there are no concerns to prevent building, however.
To answer concerns about the new estate’s position on the edge of a conservation area, houses on the boundary will be built in natural stone, though it is planned to use artificial stone for those further into the site.
Councillors also approved plans to put new homes on land off Mansfield Road, in the same district.
That site will also generate bungalows for affordable housing use and Rotherham Council received 12 objections to the development.
Coun Michael Elliott said: “The access road is a dead end and it attracts a lot of fly tipping and anti social behaviour.
“There is an overt surveillance camera. When the site is developed it will alleviate that problem. I am in favour.”
The application was passed with a unanimous vote.