Wednesday, August 4, 2021

News: Appeal goes up at The Pitches


Developers have appealed Rotherham Council's decision to refuse controversial plans to build over 100 new houses on greenspace.

Rothbiz reported in March that the planning board at Rotherham Council voted to refuse the plans for The Pitches - going against a recommendation by its officers.

The application for the site at Stag was being recommended for approval, so long as developers provided over £1m as part of a legal deal.

After consultation, Newett Homes reduced the proposals 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 available for public or private use. The site also includes a club house.

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.

£912,000 had been accepted by Sport England for new facilities.

A Government planning inspector will now make a decision on the application.

Newett Homes has put forward its arguments through its consultants and will argue that the site "does not offer any form of irreplaceable amenity function; residential, visual or for sport and recreation," adding that the development would improve existing public amenities and create new ones both on and off-site.

On the second reason for refusal, the developer will argue that the "proposed mitigation strategy is entirely appropriate" and that "a Playing Pitch Strategy is not required before it can be determined whether the mitigation which is proposed is sufficient."

Quod Consultants said: "RMBC’s [Rotherham Council's] reasons for refusal are borne out of the perception that the site fulfils an irreplaceable amenity role and that its loss cannot be adequately mitigated.

"The Appellant will demonstrate that the site has no meaningful public recreational or other amenity value and that its development would, in fact, give rise to the creation of improved sports and recreation facilities in the area and new recreational amenities at the site, as well as other benefits for the local community that should all be afforded positive weight in the planning balance.

"The Appellant will also show that their mitigation proposals have been tailored to local sports needs and strategies and, as such, are entirely appropriate."

A date for a public inquiry has not been set but the Planning Inspectorate wants evidence to be submitted before October 12.

Images: Google Maps


Anonymous,  August 4, 2021 at 9:20 PM  

Rotherham's Local Plan Policy SP38 "Protecting Green Space" - There is NO consistent application of this policy in Rotherham. Very poor excuse!

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