Developer who cleared land at Moorgate returns with third planning application

The site, looking down towards Canklow from Reneville Road, MoorgateThe site, looking down towards Canklow from Reneville Road, Moorgate
The site, looking down towards Canklow from Reneville Road, Moorgate
A DEVELOPER who “devastated and destroyed” a nature site has returned with a third planning application after seeing his previous two rejected.

Alexmon Baby cleared a swathe of land in 2020 on the hillside between Moorgate and Canklow, which is partly within the greenbelt.

His retrospective applications were thrown out by Rotherham Council’s planning department in summer 2022 and October this year, with a planning inspector refusal in between.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Mr Baby has now filed another application, which claims there has been a 33 per cent net gain in biodiversity from the project, which was labelled “ecological vandalism” by objectors.

His planning papers say habitats have been enhanced through coppicing, planting trees and providing deadwood piles.

A planning statement in support, from development company NT Planning Ltd, said: “A new submission is being made with additional ecology information including small sites metric that demonstrates a biodiversity net gain.

“The measures proposed in removing existing material and to regrade the embankment are considered to ensure its stability and that the material will not be contaminated and verified accordingly.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Objector Martin Skellum, who lives nearby, said: “I think it fair to say that the applicant, Mr Baby, is very determined to have his way with this land.

“The whole of Mr Baby’s site, including the section of Canklow Woods that he has purchased, are both still designated non statutorily protected sites.

“These sites represent and aim to protect local nature reserves, regionally important

geological sites, local wildlife sites and ancient woodland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“These protected sites are defined areas identified and selected for their nature conservation value in order to safeguard important, distinctive and threatened habitats and species, all of which have now been devastated and destroyed.

“Mr Baby may now own the entire site in question but surely that does not give him any rights to cut down well established trees or tear out ground vegetation.”

RMBC’s refusal of the first application said the development was inappropriate for the greenbelt, and criticised the tipping of waste material in Canklow Woods.

There have been six objections and two comments in support of the application so far, which means it will be brought before RMBC’s planning board should officers be minded to recommend approval.