Energy-saving homes at East Herringthorpe may neglect meeting area's needs

ROTHERHAM Council celebrated work starting on ten energy-saving homes but one councillor refused to attend the photo opportunity — saying the new one-bed properties will not meet the area’s needs.

The affordable housing is being built across four East Herringthorpe sites — adding to the 484 delivered across the borough by RMBC since 2018.

The “zero-carbon ready” properties at Greenfield Road, Hounsfield Crescent, Hounsfield Road and Langley Close will receive heating and hot water via air source heat pumps, and feature solar panels to help further reduce energy bills.

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Additional measures will include under-floor heating and MVHR — mechanical ventilation and heat recovery — to further improve efficiency.

The one and two-bed houses and bungalows will meet the demand from older people and those requiring easy accessibility, the council says.

But Cllr Michael Bennett-Sylvester declined the photo call, disputing the need for the Langley Close homes and saying he was not convinced they would not create problems for neighbouring properties.

He added: “Ironically the ground-breaking PR session was across the road from one-bedroom properties where demand is so low that at least one is used by the homeless section at RMBC as a crashpad.

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“The Langley Close development has also reignited suspicions in the community that Favell Road field may well be built on in the future after being named in cabinet papers as a potential housing site a few years ago.”

Council leader Cllr Chris Read was joined by Dalton & Thrybergh ward member Cllr Joanna Baker-Rogers for the ground-breaking ceremony and photo call.

Cllr Read said: “We have set ambitious targets to build more new council homes which are comfortable, affordable and low cost to run in order to meet the needs of Rotherham people.

“Particularly in the light of the current cost of living crisis and pressure on energy bills it is more important than ever that we explore how we can best deliver more energy efficient homes.

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“These new homes will help us to test more technologies in our community while also supporting the council’s commitment to becoming carbon net zero.”

Guy Fullwood, director at development contractors RH Fullwood, said: “We will be using the project as an opportunity to employ a new apprentice from the local area as well as seeking to employ local people into future job opportunities.

“Our aim is to maximise expenditure on materials secured from the Rotherham area in order to ensure that the Rotherham pound will be spent back in the borough.”

Cllr Bennett-Sylvester also raised the issue of about 200 properties that are being added to the area between Herringthorpe Valley Road, Doncaster Road, Dalton/Brecks Lane and Valley Park with, what he claims, little improvement to community facilities.

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He said: “We are only getting fluffy talk of social value when it comes to development. We need to talk about parking, we need to talk about building up the community and not just using building on every spare bit of land on the estate to meet housing targets on a spreadsheet somewhere.”