Wrongly placed pit wheel will have to move

Cllr Terry Adair, chairman of Treeton Parish Council, said: “It’s not their wheel; it’s ours. They have hijacked it."

A HOUSING firm was branded “disgusting” after refusing to budge on a village’s mining memorial which it “hijacked” to be a welcome feature for its new estate.

Rotherham Council will now take enforcement action against Jones Homes, which placed the Treeton pit wheel in the wrong place and facing the wrong direction.

Some 460 residents signed a petition demanding that the developer’s bid to legalise the incorrect location be thrown out by RMBC.

The borough council offered Jones Homes a compromise: turn the wheel 90 degrees so it is seen by visitors to the village — or face action.

Enforcement action will mean RMBC demanding the tribute be moved back to its original spot — as agreed in the 2019 planning permission for 94-properties off Wood Lane.

Cllr Amy Brookes, Rother Vale ward member, said: “There has been longstanding public outcry over the unnecessary interference by Jones of this beloved landmark in Treeton. 

“Enforcement is absolutely the right approach and in the public interest here as Jones have not abided by the planning condition which was put in place to protect the wheel and heritage of the village. 

“Developers must remember the balance of rights in our communities. They should not have carte blanche to destroy or impede local landmarks, character, and history. 

“I hope that this deters future wrongdoing even if we cannot get the wheel reorientated to its previous state.”

Cllr Terry Adair, chairman of Treeton Parish Council, said: “We tried to accommodate Jones Homes as best we could, but they obviously don’t want to play ball. It’s disgraceful and disgusting.

“It’s not their wheel; it’s ours. They have hijacked it. 

“If you go to any other village which had a mining industry, the wheel is there as you go in. You don’t drive out of the village to see it.”

Chris Wilkins, RMBC senior development manager, confirmed at last Thursday’s planning board meeting that the compromise had been rejected.

Cllr Simon Burnett, a member of Rotherham’s planning board, said: “That’s disgusting. I can’t believe that they have just said no, we won’t do it.”

Board chairman Cllr Alan Atkin added: “You can’t understand the mentality of the developer because he’ll have to put it further away from where it is now. That’s what was on the approved plans.”

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