MAJOR plans to develop a vast swathe of land in a bid to attract more businesses to Barnsley have been thrown open to public scrutiny as part of a six-week consultation.

Hoyland West’s masterplan - relating to proposed business land west of Sheffield Road, a 100-home housing estate on Tankersley Lane and the potential relocation of Rockingham Sports Ground to Parkside, Hoyland - began yesterday and runs until June 18.

Although it’s still in its draft form as outlined by Barnsley Council previously following cabinet approval last month, residents are able to have their say on what they want at the sites.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesman for regeneration and culture, said: “This masterplan proposal covers major plans around employment, housing and relocation of the Rockingham sports facility, so it’s important we consider the impact of the potential development.

“The consultation will provide residents, businesses and community groups with the opportunity to shape the future of the site.

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“Your views are important to us, so please complete your feedback online, which will be analysed to inform the final masterplanning framework.”

It’s the second area locally to be allocated for development after Hoyland North’s masterplan - which could yield several thousand jobs in the future - was the subject of a similar consultation process earlier this year.

Feedback from the public will be reviewed and fed into the final masterplan framework, which will need to be approved by full council before adoption.

Matt Gladstone, executive director for place for the council, said: “People’s feedback played a crucial part in redeveloping the framework and helped us to make sure it meets Hoyland’s current and future residents’ needs.

“We look forward to working together with residents and businesses to make this area of Barnsley a better place to live, work, invest and visit.

“The improvements will strengthen our economic growth, attract more businesses to the area and also help Barnsley businesses to grow.”

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said that while masterplans will inevitably result in some factions of the community campaigning against them - as seen with the fiercely-fought MU1 site near Barugh Green and Pogmoor - having individual frameworks in place, tailored to each site, is ‘essential’.

“If we don’t adopt masterplans, it potentially puts us in very dangerous territory as a council as we could be challenged by developers if the framework isn’t in place,” he told the Chronicle.

“It’s important we get the right sort of development for the local plan’s allocated sites. With the framework, developers have to adhere to it as it controls what is ultimately allowed without that in place they can effectively seek permission for what they want and if we do reject it, more often than not they will challenge it with the Planning Inspectorate.”

* Documents relating to the plans will be available to view on the council’s website at barnsley.gov.uk/hoylandwest.