PLANNING board members have narrowly refused the 116-property plan at the Pitches — going against the RMBC officers’ recommendation.
Newett Homes’ proposals for the former sports club at Broom, from Newett Homes, were rejected by seven votes to six this morning (Thursday).
The land was allocated as urban greenspace in the council’s 2018 local plan, which should dictate where housing can be built over a 15-year period.
Five of the 150 objectors — including MP Alexander Stafford — spoke at the meeting, raising concerns about the loss of greenspace, as well as traffic.
The applicants had proposed a Section 106 legal agreement including £912,000 towards sports facilities elsewhere in Rotherham, plus £237,604 to increased secondary school capacity.
Officers said this would make up for the development going against the local plan classification.
Emma Lancaster, agent for the developers, said the Pitches had no public access and there was “no prospect” of sports use in the future.
But one resident said it would take more effort to build the housing than to return the sporting use.
After a near two-hour presentation and debate, the application was refused by a single vote, mainly because of the loss of the land as greenspace.
Cllr Jenny Whysall, planning board member, said: “I can’t agree that removing this lung is the right thing for us to do.”