A SENIOR councillor’s election campaign states his opposition to a housing development — despite him voting to remove the land from the greenbelt and allocate it as residential.
A leaflet from Cllr Dominic Beck and fellow Labour candidate Marnie Havard says “we stand with the hundreds of residents who have already objected” to Strata’s bid to build 196 properties at Kiveton Park.
It adds: “We also have our very own precious family of deer which we all enjoy seeing and hearing about, the land is already their home!”
But the site, off Chapel Way, was removed from the greenbelt in 2018 by Rotherham’s local plan, which Cllr Beck voted to approve.
This masterplan document — allocating Rotherham’s housing land over a 15-year period — is regularly cited as the main reason such applications cannot be rejected at planning board level.
Paul Martin, Green party rival for Cllr Beck’s Wales ward seat, said: “It’s frankly dishonest and disingenuous for Dominic, who voted this plan through cabinet and full council, to say he stands with the objectors.
“He says the land in question has always had drainage and flood-related issues owing to the topography. This leads me to ask why on earth he voted for this land to be included in the local development plan in the first place.
“If the Labour party thinks they can get people to vote for them over this issue, then they are taking the people of Kiveton Park for mugs.”
Other concerns about the Strata Homes plan include traffic congestion and potential loss of footpaths.
The number of proposed properties is less than the 268-dwelling capacity suggested in the local plan.
Cllr Beck said his objection to using the land for housing pre-dated the local plan.
He added: “I have always been very clear that I have been against development at the end of Chapel Way in Kiveton since it was first suggested over a decade ago. This hasn’t changed.
“There are some things elected councillors are legally required to do, but if I have the opportunity to vote myself against these current plans from Strata, that is what I’ll do.
“It is a shame once again that even on issues we agree on the local Green Party try to find division.
“Until very recently, weeks before an election, I haven’t heard a thing on the subject from any opposition candidates.
“I wonder why now? It’s a poor show and I asked them to work with me to fight these plans not against me.”