CAMPAIGNERS whose homes will border a warehouse which is set to become Europe’s largest parcel hub have generated a 1,400-strong petition against the controversial plans.
Parcel delivery giant Hermes submitted its bid to Barnsley Council to build the 363,000 square feet hub on a site earmarked for development in Hoyland, close to junction 36 of the M1.
Hermes bosses said the development could create 800 jobs for the area and once completed in as soon as two years’ time the hub could process more than one million parcels each day.
However, the plans have caused an outrage among local residents who claim the site has always been classed as green belt land.
Mark Goodison, who started the petition, told the Chronicle: “None of Hoyland’s residents want this because it will cause chaos in the town. I think the plans will rip Hoyland to shreds, and take away all sense of the settlement.
“We feel like we are being lied to. We have tried to speak to the council about what is going on because we want our voices to be heard and we want these plans halted.
“We aren’t trying to stand in the way of progress but I believe that if these plans go ahead, they will completely swamp the town.
“I have lived here all my life, and I hope to keep living here, but I can’t imagine Hoyland being a nice place to live when there are lorries driving through the village every day to make deliveries.”
Part of the plans encroach on the famous Rockingham Miners’ Welfare Recreation Ground where Olympic sprinter Dorothy Hyman trained.
Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for place, added: “Barnsley Council has received a planning application for two related proposals on the land we have identified for employment use between Sheffield Road and the M1 motorway at Hoyland.
“The site falls within the area covered by the recent Hoyland West masterplan framework consultation.
“While that consultation has only recently closed, the results yet to be fully analysed, and a framework yet to be adopted, developers are still entitled to submit planning applications and the council has a statutory duty to consider them.
“The interest in this site is welcomed although the timing of these applications, which is not ideal so soon after the consultation, is out of the council’s control.
“The applicant has therefore been made aware that these applications cannot be determined until the council has finalised and adopted the Hoyland West masterplan framework.
“Our primary focus is therefore on considering all the comments received in response to the consultation, and we will then be working hard to finalise the masterplan framework document as soon as we can.
“In the meantime, we will be publicising the planning applications and would urge those with an interest in the site to also respond to the consultation on these planning applications so that we can take account of the views of local people and act on these where necessary.”