MORE than 7,000 people have swamped Rotherham Borough Council with comments on plans to build thousands of new homes.
Now councillors have promised to look yet again at revising targets for new housing under Rotherham’s Local Development Framework——a 15-year plan designating various areas for housing and industrial use.
Three years ago, a target of up to 34,000 homes was set causing a storm of protest over the threat to the town’s green belt areas.
Last summer, the council carried out consultations on a plan for up to 13,000 homes and that prompted the flood of comments.
Now the council is promising to look at the issue again.
A council spokesman said: “Nothing has been decided yet. We have collected a lot of evidence and tried to present it in a way that will let people have their say before we make any decisions.
“We will continue to carefully consider all the comments we received on the consultation.”
To address the concerns raised, the council has promised to:
Look again at the housing target to release the minimum amount of land.
Carry out a Green Belt review to ensure as little as possible is used, and only when all other options have been exhausted.
Urgently draw up plans to assess infrastructure requirements like schools, doctors, water and sewage.
Ensure new developments do not increase flood risks.
Around 1,500 residents attended the 20 LDF public drop-in meetings between July and September last year.
Further consultation will be held some time later this year.
Simon Collett, chairman of action group Save Our Green Belt, said:
“We’ve been going nearly three years now and this will be round three—the third time the council has asked people what they think.
“We had our first meeting of the year a couple of weeks ago. We expect the consultation to be in the summer and we’ll be ready.”
The possibility of building on prized green belt in Dinnington and Anston brought the biggest single response, with 1,878 people objecting.
The mooted development of Stainton Lane, Maltby, with 463 homes brought 1,363 negative responses. Bassingthorpe Farm—which caused the biggest stir in 2009—received 986 comments against.
There were 7,441 responses during last year’s consultation, compared with 6,155 the first time around.