Thursday, March 11, 2021

News: Developers set to stump up £1m


Developers wanting to build over 100 new houses on greenspace in Rotherham will need to provide over £1m as part of the legal deal connected to the proposed planning permission. Cash would go towards new cricket and football facilities.

The application for a site known as "The Pitches" at Stag is set to be discussed at the Rotherham Council planning board next week where it is being recomended for approval by council planners.

Rothbiz reported in 2019 that Newett Homes was proposing a high-quality residential development of 124 homes.

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.

1997 plans for residential development on the site were refused.

The 2019 plans have met with opposition due to the site being allocated as greenspace in the local plan.

Sport England raised objections and campaign group, Friends of The Pitches, successfully secured the site as an Asset of Community Value but following an internal review at the request of the site owners, council officers overturned the original successful listing decision.

Planning documents state: "The facility has been closed for a number of years and the applicant has advised that there is no intention to reopen it for sports use as it has fallen into disrepair."

Now the plans, which also include the demolition of two current houses, have been updated and the proposed development has been reduced in scale, resulting in a proposal for 116 dwellings.

Sport England consider the development "a finely balanced application" and has been consultated throughout on what mitigation can be put in place for the loss of greenspace. Having turned down figures of £300,000 and £560,000, a figure of £912,000 has been accepted.

The money will 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) includes £237,604 for schools provision.

A number of the 150 objectors are due to speak at the meeting. Many accuse the applicant of deliberately preventing the use of the site for sporting purposes and of showing disregard for planning regulations by keeping portable cabins on the site before securing planning permission.

In the board documents, planners conclude: "The site [is] allocated as Greenspace in the Local Plan. However, following many years of vacancy, it is acknowledged that the land is unlikely to be used for future playing pitch sports. This is compounded by the site being within private ownership with no mechanism to open the site up for public access.

"The site is not allocated for residential use, but the proposal would represent a windfall site for new housing. The development plan position is that the site should be retained as Green Space unless it is surplus to requirements or in the event that equivalent or better provision of Greenspace is provided as replacement facilities. In this regard a mitigation package has been offered of £912,000 towards the provision of a Playing Pitch Strategy and subsequent alternative sports provision, it is considered that this would represent adequate mitigation in order to offset the permanent loss of the private sports facility."

If approved, further conditions would be attached to the permission including 25% of the houses to be affordable housing.

Members of the planning board will meet to dicuss the plans on March 18.

Newett Homes website

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  March 11, 2021 at 11:32 AM  

What about the wildlife that now inhabit this green "island"??

Anonymous,  March 11, 2021 at 2:47 PM  

There's foxes, owles amongst the fabulous wildlife that live on this site. Will be a very sad day if the diggers do come!

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