CAMPAIGNERS opposing a plan which will see large-scale development built on the green belt have criticised a public consultation and demanded ‘transparency’.

The site, known as Barnsley West MU1, is bordered by Pogmoor, Higham, Gawber and Barugh Green and has already been earmarked for 1,700 homes, a new primary school and employment land with a link road connecting to the M1.

The development, part of the town’s local plan, which sets out a blueprint for new housing and employment sites until 2033 has been met with strong opposition.

The 122-hectare site - enclosed by built-up areas on three sides with the M1 on its remaining border - was the subject of two drop-in events held in Barugh Green and Gawber in recent weeks.

Campaigners from Keep It Green 2014, a group opposing the ‘damaging’ proposals, said its members were ‘concerned’ with how the consultation - which ended yesterday - has panned out.

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“Observations from both consultation exhibitions showed that the vast majority of local residents attending the events were angry at the proposals and frustrated at the whole consultation process,” a spokesman said.

“As a result Keep It Green 2014 has expressed their concern to the council on a number of related issues, including the format of the consultation questionnaire and the fact that there is no facility for adding respondents’ names and addresses.

“We consider that there should be a clear audit trail of completed questionnaires submitted in order to provide transparency, accountability and a fair detailed summary of the results. Since this is a major proposal within the council’s adopted local plan, the council has also been asked as to why the consultation is not being undertaken via the council’s consultation website, as was the case throughout the local plan consultation process.”

According to the council, the second round of the masterplan - which will reveal the consultation’s results and set out the next steps of the project - is expected to go before ruling cabinet members on December 11.