Council approves 200 homes plan near Worksop despite objections
A planning application for almost 200 homes in Kiveton Park has narrowly been approved, with seven votes to six by Rotherham Council.
The plan, submitted by Strata Homes, would see 197 homes – one more than the previous plan – built on 10.16 hectares of land off Chapel Way and Lambrell Avenue, along with 439 parking spaces.
A previous application for the site was refused in June, on biodiversity and highways concerns.
However, as part of the refreshed application, Strata Homes submitted traffic surveys, which analysed traffic movement at four junctions during peak times - which found that three junctions will "continue to function at capacity", with a "moderate" impact on the School Road junction.
Lisa Brooks, planning officer at Rotherham Council, told a meeting of the planning board today (October 14), that the application could only be refused on highways grounds if there would be an "unacceptable impact" of highway safety, or the impact of extra traffic would be "severe".
The previous application was also refused as the board found that the applicant had "failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the biodiversity of the site".
Strata Homes submitted a preliminary ecological appraisal and ecological impact assessment, plus a great crested newt and water vole survey.
They also agreed to plant a new community woodland at the development, plus 208 new trees.
However, Councillor Dominic Beck opposed the application, telling the meeting that the land is a "nature reserve in all but name."
"This is no longer arable farmland - that is a false pretense," he told the meeting.
"It has a wealth of biodiversity, and no development can enhance that."
Alexander Stafford, Rother Valley's MP, also submitted a written objection, which was read to the meeting.
"The overwhelming majority of the locality do not accept this application.
"I appreciate that the developers have worked to alleviate concerns regarding traffic, but there is nothing that I have read in various reports that makes me change my view.
"I will not waste councillor's time by reiterating the points that will have been made regarding the loss of green space, the ecological impact, increased flood risk, traffic concerns and pressure on local services.
"These are all incredibly important issues and should be taken seriously."
Claire Linley, speaking on behalf of Strata Homes, told the meeting that no objections had been made by council officers on highways grounds, adding that the scheme has been designed to retain a large area of open space "which is quite uncommon in many modern housing developments."
Ms Linley added that if the site is not developed for housing, "another site will need to be found to accommodate these homes."
Permission was granted following a vote, with seven votes for and six votes against.