Planned homes 'are not needed'

ADDING a pond to a proposed housing development within a village’s conservation area has been called “almost laughable”.

A previous plan to demolish a 200-year-old cottage for five homes on land off Worksop Road in Aston was withdrawn last year.

Now applicant Roger Brittain has asked for permission to build four houses, leaving most of the cottage intact.

The application includes a pond in an attempt to address ecological issues from objectors who raised a 300-signature petition last time.

Neighbour Carl Plumber said: “This is a fairly substantial piece of land, which wraps around our garden. 

“They have come back with a more detailed and comprehensive ecology report this time. It highlights the issues and says to get around this, they are wanting to build a pond in one of the gardens.

“But there’s no documentation saying how they are going to manage this. Is it up to the resident, and how can they make sure it’s being looked after?”

Another objector said: “It does not present any solution for the visual detraction of the site and does not address the ecological issues previously raised either. 

“Putting a pond in someone’s garden, that cannot be effectively policed, is almost laughable.”

A third added: “This area has a large amount of wildlife and trees that will be lost if this development goes ahead. The access to these properties is off a busy road which does not need extra traffic.”

Concerns about road safety and ecology saw Jones Homes’ plan for 16 houses a few hundred yards away turned down by Rotherham Borough Council on June 23.

Resident Jenny Shimwell, speaking on behalf of objectors to that plan, said: “This is only 300 metres from the Jones site and also on the bad bend on Worksop Road.

“This one is part of the combined ecosystem and would mean taking out many orchard trees.

“This precious green corridor is under attack from both sides. We feel it high time that the area was taken out of residential classification and given the protection of urban greenspace.”

She added: “Rotherham’s future plans for housing in the Aston area are met by the local plan. These houses on either site are not needed.

“We feel there should be no pressure to build and destroy something special.”

A planning decision is expected in mid-August.