Wednesday, April 19, 2017

News: Council gives green light for Green Group's Green Belt plans

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The exact same plans that were recommended for refusal are heading back before Rotherham's planning board having since been approved.

Rothbiz reported last month that expansion plans from Rotherham logistics firm, The Green Group, that could create hundreds of jobs on a former brickworks, were being recommended for refusal due to the site being in the Green Belt.

A planning application was submitted to replace the buildings on the current Maltby site - part of the Ibstock brickworks - with a new build, 100,000 sq ft bonded warehouse with offices.

Members of the planning board went against the officer's recommendation, voting nine to three, not to refuse the plans, despite planners stating that the development and jobs could be located in more preferable locations designated for employment use and not in the Green Belt.

Members considered that the proposed development will be beneficial for the local economy, generating significant additional jobs, on a site that is already occupied by the applicant, and that these amount to the very special circumstances to justify the inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

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Planners however previously said that: "It is not considered that any of the submitted information put forward represent a very special circumstance to justify the inappropriate development proposed. No other very special circumstances have been put forward to overcome the inappropriate nature of the development and the harm by way of its impact on the openness of the Green Belt in this location."

Permission was previously approved for clay extraction but the Green Belt site was due to be reclaimed and the land re-graded by 2025. The site is set to keep its Green Belt status in the borough's Local Plan. An existing warehouse building is unauthorised.

Local MP, Sir Kevin Barron, is backing the plans due to the proposed additional jobs, potentially over 150, that would be created in the local area.

The application will go back before the board again this week, after the planning officer, in consultation with the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Board, agreed on reasons for granting planning permission, subject to a number of conditions.

The plans will then be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as a departure from the Development Plan. The Government could then "call in" the plans for further scrutiny and has the power to refuse plans for development in the Green Belt.

Formed in 2008, The Green Group started its fleet with just five MAN trucks in 2010 while based at Hellaby Hall Industrial Estate. Moving to a nearby 14-acre site at Maltby in 2012 allowed the firm to build a small transit shed and expand the transport offices. Within two years, the business increased to 90 trucks and 137 trailers, and staff grew by 100 to include new drivers, administrators, engineers, and customer service and warehouse staff.

Green Group website

Images: Green Group


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