Transport cash is ‘”red herring” planners warned as permission granted for homes

Red herring: Sustainable transport cash for community where a bus journey to Sheffield takes almost two hours
Red herring: Sustainable transport cash for community where a bus journey to Sheffield takes almost two hours
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Developers given permission to develop 144 new homes in Rotherham will have to pay £72,000 towards ‘sustainable transport’ for the area – with planners who granted approval told at present it takes almost two hours to get to Sheffield by bus, despite being only a few miles away.

Developers given permission to develop 144 new homes in Rotherham will have to pay £72,000 towards ‘sustainable transport’ for the area – with planners who granted approval told at present it takes almost two hours to get to Sheffield by bus, despite being only a few miles away.

A field site off Upper Wortley Road in Thorpe Hesley will take the new houses after being taken out of the Green Belt as part of Rotherham Council’s new long term planning policy adopted this year, but residents still raised concerns about the impact of the development on the village.

Councillors who approved the scheme were told a quarter of the houses will be ‘affordable homes’ to provide accommodation for those who struggle with market prices, with £250,000 going to support the village primary school and another £72,000 for public transport.

But Coun Maggi Clark, who lives in the village, told the meeting: “Buses are few and far between. To get to Sheffield will take one hour and 46 minutes on the bus. You have to walk five minutes to get to the bus stop. I feel that (sustainable transport) is a little bit of a red herring.”

Thorpe Hesley is just one junction away from Sheffield’s Meadowhall junction on the M1.

She also raised concerns about the impact of more traffic in the area, telling councillors it could take five minutes to turn out onto the A629 at busy times and longer still if waiting for traffic to clear in both directions.

Some objections surrounded road safety and the primary school, which is in a 40mph speed limit on a road which also becomes congested with parents parking to drop off and collect pupils at either end of the school day.

A new access will have to be created for the estate and that will mean some roadside parking disappearing, but the company involved has offered to create a temporary car park for parents, as well as new parking bays to create drop off points, which will replace the lost space.

Council planners said there were no objections to the development of the site, following the adoption of the Rotherham Local Plan earlier this year, which changed the status of the site to make it suitable for housing.

Among the objectors was Diane Stephenson, who lives at nearby Park View, and she told the meeting: “I would say it will impact on the village community. Speeding vehicles come off the motorway, it will go into a single lane very close to the school. I feel that will be a threat to children in school.

“I feel it will damage the current environment.”