‘MISINFORMATION’ on Barnsley Council’s site notices regarding a consultation on a vast swathe of development land should result in the local authority giving residents more time to comment, campaigners have said.
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 scheme is part of the town’s local plan, which sets out a blueprint for new housing and employment sites until 2033, but has aroused strong opposition.
Notices placed on lamp posts gave a deadline of 5pm on September 24 for ‘receiving comments’, 17 days before the final consultation drop-in session on October 10 and a full month before the actual deadline of October 24.
Campaigners from Keep it Green 2014 called on the council to reopen its ‘flawed consultation’.
“The misinformation on the notices was a source of confusion that could have deterred people from responding given the apparently short period for doing so,” said a spokesman.
“We have asked the council what its intentions are in relation to this error, including the option of reopening the consultation.”
The 122-hectare site was also the subject of two drop-in events held in Barugh Green and Gawber early this autumn.
“Observations showed that the vast majority of local residents attending the events were angry at the proposals and frustrated at the whole consultation process,” the spokesman added.
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.
David Shepherd, service director for regeneration and culture, said: “We have been informed that the end date for the MU1 masterplanning consultation was incorrect on notices issued around the development site. We have reviewed all material and can confirm this is an unfortunate error which is limited to the site notices only.
“The notices were just one form of publicity we used to communicate the consultation.
“We also held two public consultation events which were very well attended.
“Therefore, given the wider publicity carried out, and the significant number of responses received, we will not be reopening the consultation.
“There are no specific regulations around consultation on masterplan frameworks and while consultation is encouraged, it is not mandatory.”
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Council stands firm over controversial MU1development
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