Plans for 43 new homes at 'eyesore site' in Harthill approved

Plans for 43 new homes in Harthill have been approved by Rotherham Council’s planning board today.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 8:27 pm

Partially converted barns at the site, at North Farm, North Farm Close, will be demolished, but the existing farmhouse would be extended and converted into two homes.

Developers Loxley Homes originally wanted to demolish all structures on site and build 51 homes, but ‘extensively amended’ the plans following discussions with officers, and agreed to retain the 18th century Georgian farmhouse.

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North Farm, North Farm Close, Harthill, is set to have 43 new homes built on after plans were approved by Rotherham Council.

Emma Lancaster, on behalf of the applicant, says Newett Homes took over the application in February this year, and intend to ‘deliver early next year’.

“The proposals also exceed policy requirements in relation to open space creating high quality recreation space for the benefit of both new and existing residents of the area, ” said she Lancaster.

“There are significant benefits associated with the development, which weigh heavily in its favour. These include delivery of new homes on a highly sustainable allocated site, helping to address Rotherham’s record of persistent under-delivery.”

The council’s senior development officer, Chris Wilkins, told the meeting that most of the buildings at the site, which were built in the 1990s and were never completed, would not be up to building control standards today.

“It’s becoming a bit of an eyesore as you come into the village, and I think most people are looking forward to seeing the site redeveloped,” added Mr Wilkins.

“We are satisfied the access and the additional traffic generated won’t create any significant highway safety issues.”

A letter from a Harthill resident, Mr Rowland, was also read to the meeting.

Mr Rowland said the village and roads cannot cope with current traffic, and “certainly would not be able to cope with 43 more houses and the increased volume of traffic.”

He added: “Offering money to schools is nothing more than a bribe to try and reduce the level of resistance to this unnecessary development… given the lack of facilities in Harthill, further expansion is not considered sustainable.”

“I urge all planning officers to reject this development and save the village from being ruined by unwanted developments.”

A total of 11 affordable housing units are proposed on site, made up of six two bedroom units and five three bedroom units.

Access for the homes will be taken from North Farm Court, the entrance point to which would be moved on to Union Street.

A separate additional access off Union Street, to the north of the North Farm Court access, would serve four new properties.

Newett Homes would also contribute £22,500 towards sustainable travel, and £94,537.50 towards secondary education at Wales High School as part of a section 106 legal agreement.

An area of farmland to the north will be utilised as public open space.

The applicant will need to obtain a European Protected Species Mitigation licence from Natural England due to the ‘confirmed presence of roosts’ in some buildings, and bat and bird replacement provision will need to be approved by Rotherham Council.