Tuesday, March 23, 2021

News: Pitches plans turned down

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The planning board at Rotherham Council has voted to refuse plans to build over 100 new houses on greenspace - going against a recommendation by its officers.

Rothbiz reported earlier this month that the application for a site known as "The Pitches" at Stag was being recommended for approval, so long as developers provided over £1m as part of a legal deal.

In 2019 Newett Homes proposed a high-quality residential development of 124 homes. After consultation, the proposed development has been reduced in scale, resulting in a proposal for 116 dwellings.

The nine acre site on Wickersley Road has previously been used for football, cricket, hockey, tennis and bowls but it has been vacant for over five years, during which it has not been avaible for public or private use. The site also includes a club house.

A number of objectors spoke at the planning board before councillors discussed aspects of the proposals such as the site being allocated as greenspace in the local plan, traffic concerns and wildlife. Some accuse the applicant of deliberately preventing the use of the site for sporting purposes and of showing disregard for planning regulations.

The issue of a 1914 covenent on the land was also discussed but this is not a planning consideration and is a private legal matter. And even if approval was granted, it would not override any legal covenent that may restrict the use of the land.

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Board members heard that the appplication had met national planning policy relating to mitigating the loss of sports pitches. Having turned down figures of £300,000 and £560,000, a figure of £912,000 has been accepted by Sport England.

The applicant has advised that there is no intention to reopen the site for sports use and the money would go towards a replacement cricket pitch and field, replacement football facilities, a new bowling facility, tennis provision and to enable the Council to commission a new Playing Pitch Strategy.

In addition, the Section 106 Agreement (legal agreements between the councils and developers linked to planning permissions) included £237,604 for schools provision. 25% of the houses would need to be affordable housing.

However, the planning board seven against and six in favour.

Reasons for refusal were that the plans were contrary to Rotherham's Local Plan Policy SP38 "Protecting Green Space" which indicates that such sites will be protected from future development.

The second reason was based on the absence of an up to date Playing Pitch Strategy so there is "insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the proposed mitigation is sufficient to provide replacement sporting facilities of an equivalent or better provision in terms of quantity and quality" in accordance with national planning policy.

One planning board member who voted against the plans was cllr. John Williams, who gave his reasons at the meeting. He said: "It's not a decision I take lightly but I think it is the loss of the greenspace. The mitigation for that loss is dependent on a lot of work on a strategy that isn't in place. So I wasn't satisfied or reassured on the loss of the greenspace."

Images: Google Maps

5 comments:

Mr me March 23, 2021 at 12:15 PM  

ResultšŸ‘Get gready developer's using brownfield sites before concreting over green fields and green space!

Graldhunter March 23, 2021 at 12:25 PM  

So the Section 106 agreement of £237,604 was not enough to sway RMBC Laybah Councillaz, hoorah, finally a sensible decision for once ������

Dennis March 23, 2021 at 12:46 PM  

That is good news for the open space there, unless the Developer appeals and wins. But the Council voted for taking virgin green belt farmland out of the green belt, against much local opposition, and allowing potentially 750+ houses to be built on it not half a mile from there off Sheep Cote Road, Lathe Road and Worrygoose Lane. That is apparently perfectly fine?

Anonymous,  March 23, 2021 at 4:33 PM  

Don

Great article - but an important part is missing.


Should read:- 'And even if approval was granted it would NOT override any legal covenant that may restrict the use of the land until matters were resolved' and in this case matters will never be resolved.

Anonymous,  March 29, 2021 at 11:05 AM  

What if a London-based inspector says that no mitigation is needed and the plans are passed on appeal?

What if the strategy is done and says that no new sports facilities are needed?

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