Wednesday, March 22, 2017

News: Todwick North site set to stay in Green Belt


A proposal to create a new business park in Rotherham that would be home to thousands of jobs has taken a knock back after a planning inspector disagreed with the Council and wants the site to remain in the Green Belt.

Around 30 hectares of agricultural land at Todwick was put forward as part of the Council's Local Plan. It was the major new site being put forward since the borough's employment land was last examined.

Identified as "Todwick North," the site was put forward for new offices and new commercial floorspace in the general industrial planning class, as well as the potential for some storage and distribution uses. It is hoped it will "attract major inward investment by accommodating one or more large users or through the development of smaller plots which comprise a high quality business park."

However, following consultation and examination hearings on the Local Plan, the planning inspector, Christopher Anstey wants the business allocation deleting and for the site to be retained in the Green Belt.


The Council had hoped that the site, which is known in the plan as E16 and located close to the new roundabout on the A57, would be available for development in years 11-15 of the plan period.

The Council's statement said: "The site is located to provide a strategic inward investment opportunity for Rotherham. Rotherham currently lacks the number of major, straightforward to develop sites which it needs to re-capture the employment growth.

"E16 has been identified as having potential to help attract major inward investment into Rotherham and the City Region, and deliver a premium business park with opportunities for high quality development."

Masterplans for the site show that approximately 955,000 to 1.135m sq ft of business space can be formed on site - enough to bring an estimated minimum of 1,500 jobs.

Site promoters, Wyndthorpe Developments Ltd, which had selected a leading development company as a partner in the proposed scheme, said in its representations: "The site is a large deliverable employment site next to the A57, which provides a major inward investment opportunity, capable of providing 30.05 hectares of employment land within the plan period. Such development here is vital to ensure Rotherham can meet its employment needs, and the aims of the Rotherham Economic Growth Plan."


The inspector concluded: "This site, together with other areas of land around Todwick, makes a significant contribution to preventing the neighbouring settlement groupings of Dinnington / Anston / Laughton Common and Wales / Kiveton Park from merging into one another. Furthermore development of this extensive area of farmland would constitute encroachment into the countryside and cause severe damage to the attractive rural character of the local area. Consequently the allocation is not justified and is not consistent with national policy."

The inspector has made a number of "Main Modifications" considered necessary to make the Rotherham Site and Policies Plan (RSPP) sound. The Council will need to come back with its own modifications following the recommendations.

Images: Wyndthorpe Developments / DLP


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