CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new car park in Darton have been approved - despite a residents’ petition urging Barnsley Council to axe its plan.

The scheme, at Darton Park on Church Street, will provide 33 spaces but objections related to an increase in traffic, loss of trees and access, which resulted in 29 people signing a petition against the proposals.

However Coun Trevor Cave, who represents the Darton West ward, praised the scheme at the planning board’s meeting on Tuesday and said it will ‘enhance’ the local area.

“It has my support - it will assist park users, local businesses and members of the nearby Darby and Joan club.”

Campaigners argued the plan, on land earmarked as green belt, also encourages car use which has a knock-on effect on Darton’s air quality and ‘is in conflict’ with the council’s policy to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce obesity.

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Coun Doug Birkinshaw, chairman of the board, added: “Other parts of the borough are screaming out for more parking and this scheme is only there to help them. I can’t see anything other than benefits with this.”