Meeting to be held to try and stop housing development

By Antony Clay | 24/03/2017

Meeting to be held to try and stop housing development
Martin Gaffney

PROTESTERS against a controversial housing development will hold a public meeting despite being told they could be too late to make a difference.

More than 70 people attended this week’s Wickersley Parish Council meeting to show their concern about the plans by Harron Homes to build 109 houses off Second Lane.

The application has yet to go before Rotherham Borough Council’s planning board but parish councillors said they had tried and failed to raise public interest over potential housing sites in the last eight years.

Martin Gaffney, one of the organisers of the meeting at Wickersley Club beginning at 6.30pm on Monday, said people could still stop the green belt land development.

He said: “What came out of the parish council meeting was that it’s a done deal but if we kick up a bit of a stink we could get a result.

“It’s the green belt that’s the main issue, and the extra traffic. 

“Now people know a little bit more about what’s going off, there they are not happy.”

Mr Gaffney, of Newhall Avenue, added: “There are several sites that could be taken instead. The area is surrounded by brownfield sites.”

During the consultation on RMBC’s core strategy development plan, parish councillors had been “very proactive” about raising awareness of potential green belt building, a parish council spokeswoman said, holding public events, delivering letters to households and publishing information in a community newsletter. 

The spokeswoman said consultation over the core strategy had been carried out by the borough council during an eight-year period.

“All of this process has been completed and final sign-off is imminent,” she said.

“The parish council have been very proactive over the consultation period, forcing Rotherham Borough Council to extend the original consultation time. 

“This was so the parish could raise awareness of the issues.”

The spokeswoman said the parish council had successfully forced a cut in the amount of green belt houses.

“We understand people’s disappointment and frustration over the developments that will impact on them, she said.

“Unfortunately, the time to submit views on the core strategy is well past.

“However, just like the residents, the parish council will ensure that we voice any concerns about these to the planning committee, who are the decision makers.”

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