A COUNCILLOR hit out at his own planning board colleagues for not listening to residents complaints as he voted against a housing plan.
Independent Cllr Peter Short was one of two members to oppose a change in Jones Homes’ proposals for 400 homes on former greenbelt land at Maltby.
The main plans won approval by the board in October 2019 and the variation heard on February 4 related only to the design layout of the new estate on Grange Lane.
But residents used the opportunity to again raise concerns about flooding, particularly the risk to nearby Stainton.
And Cllr Short (pictured, above) said: “When you have to listen to residents that come along and say their house has been flooded by sewage and they are afraid that their home is going to be flooded again, I think we should be listening.
“These residents come along and make good, strong objections.
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“I think as a planning board, we are losing track of what we are here for. We are here to represent the residents and listen to them, and we are not doing it.
“While I know that this is a completely wasted vote, I’m going to vote against out of principle and solidarity with the local people who have expressed genuine fears over flooding. I send my apologies to them that I can’t help them more.”
Cllr Allen Cowles added: “With flooding, they talk about one-in-100-year events but life has changed. Unfortunately, planning laws don’t keep up with that.
“So when you say yes, it meets the requirements, that’s the requirements of inadequate laws which have not been updated for some time.”
During the debate, Stainton parish councillor John Gray said Ruddle dike had flooded at least five times in 13 years — and worried about the effect of an extra 4,233 cubic feet of water daily from the housing development.
Quarries and a treatment plant already have licences to pump water into the dike, he added.
“If we have significant rainfall, 24 hours worth, then the dike overflows in Stainton village.
“Fortunately, we can phone up people like Breedon’s and Marshalls and they turn off their pumps for us, at significant commercial risk to themselves.”
Dean Goben said: “You can kiss goodbye to Stainton because that will become the next Ladybower.
“I live in Braithwell. We’ve had flooding issues now for the last five years, where we’ve been flooded out with pure sewage in the house at least three times.”
Mr Goben has previously urged the council to take a section of land at Braithwell Road, in which he owns a stake, for development instead. The offer of this land by Doncaster Council was not taken up when RMBC drew up its local plan.
“Why are they turning it down?” he asked. “They are falling that short on the building, they are now contemplating digging up graveyards at Masbrough.
“That’s how low Rotherham are actually going at the moment.”
Chris Wilkins, RMBC senior development officer, said: “If our drainage team aren’t happy, then they will say it’s unacceptable.
“If people have additional information, the council is more than happy to receive that as part of that ongoing process.”
He said neighbouring authorities were consulted as part of Rotherham’s local plan — adding that RMBC will be consulted when Doncaster does the same.
The variation passed by 11 votes to two.