Developer's £600k for schools after West Melton housing approved

Photo by Lucas George Wendt on UnsplashPhoto by Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash
Photo by Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash
DEVELOPERS will pay more than £1 million to tackle the impact of infrastructure around a new housing development.

Persimmon has been granted for 311 new homes off Barnsley Road in West Melton and said construction was due to start in the coming weeks.

Just under a fifth of the planned properties will be housing association or council homes, with 20 more earmarked for first-time buyers purchasing at a discount price.

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Persimmon has pledged financial contributions towards transport - including new bus shelters - and maintaining existing public play areas at West Melton Park and Bierlow Park.

A legal agreement means it will pay up £1.05 million, with over £600,000 going to local schools.

The developer said the homes on the new estate would have improved energy efficiency, including solar panel technology.

Mark Beevers, the firm’s senior land and planning manager, said: “We’re delighted that this development has taken another significant step forward.

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“These exciting plans will deliver a wealth of benefits to the local community in addition to much needed, high quality new housing for local families, first-time buyers and downsizers who otherwise might struggle to get on the housing ladder.”

There was controversy when the plans were approved last November, with concerns about the traffic access, including just one access onto the site and no new pedestrian crossings.

The 12-hectare agricultural site was a late addition to RMBC’s housing masterplan after a government inspector said more land needed to provided in the north of the borough.

Persimmon initially wanted to build 372 properties but this was revised downwards because of what RMBC called “considerable constraints”, including the prospect of an underground gas main, plus overhead power lines, pylons, a water main and sewer to negotiate.

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“Employment opportunities would be generated during the construction phase,” said Persimmon.

“Based on a six-and-a-half year build period, the development is expected to support 123 direct full-time equivalent construction jobs and 168 indirect jobs per year of construction."

But one West Melton resident said: “The plan shows only one road in and out. There is already a double roundabout to cope with traffic in that area.

“GP surgeries and local schools cannot cope. Since the Highfield Farm estate was built, there are very limited green spaces left in this area.”

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