Houses could be built on greenbelt

Residents have just six weeks to comment on controversial plans which would see hundreds of houses built on greenbelt land.

Changes to Rotherham’s Core Strategy - the document setting out the town’s development blueprint for the future - were published on the Rotherham Council website on Monday.

Those changes include building 1,300 houses in Dinnington, Anston and Laughton Common - 200 more than originally planned.

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Maltby and Hellaby will get 700 new homes, 100 more than previously planned, while the Aston, Aughton and Swallownest area will see 560 houses built.

And despite concerns raised by local people, the council is not ruling out building some of these houses on greenbelt land.

In the document, Dinnington is described as a ‘principal settlement capable of accommodating significant growth at an appropriate level in the future’.

It continues: “However, Dinnington cannot meet its identified housing target within the built community and therefore consideration has been given to developing in the green belt.”

“Dinnington has significant employment opportunities available locally, there is a college of further education and a modern transport interchange linking the wider rural hinterland to Rotherham-.Sheffield -Worksop.”

The council says the greenbelt review will be done throughout the borough ‘as necessary to meet housing and employment needs’.

It continues: “Rotherham’s greenbelt has aided regeneration within the older urban areas over the life of the current Unitary Development Plan, it is anticipated that a detailed review of the greenbelt will only release sufficient land to meet identified needs in the next local plan period.”

“The amended Rotherham greenbelt will continue to aid the regeneration of the older urban core areas and promote the re-use of existing land whilst maintaining a healthy supply of land to meet employment, housing and other supporting service needs and maintain a balanced economy.”

Coun Gerald Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and development, said the document formed the next stage of the preparation process of the borough’s local development plan.

He said: “This latest document is available on the council’s website and at the customer service centres and libraries throughout the borough. Planning officers will also be available to answer questions during normal office hours and assist people in making their comments.”

People have until 5pm on 25th February to have their say on the new document. All comments will be submitted to the Government-appointed Planning Inspector.

After the consultation, any comments made will be submitted to the Planning Inspector appointed by the Government to examine the Core Strategy.