PLANS for wide-scale residential development in Stairfoot will exacerbate already ‘appalling’ traffic conditions near the area’s notorious roundabout, according to a local councillor.

Outline planning permission for approximately 230 houses on the site at Bleachcroft Way has been approved following years of deliberations.

The proposed site is bordered by the vacant former B and Q store, allotments, a railway, a disused canal and the Dob Sike watercourse.

A major residential scheme for the site by another developer was refused by the council in 2009 and subsequently dismissed at appeal.

The reason for this was due to loss of employment land and the ‘character of surroundings’ making it poorly suited to residential development.

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U and I Group submitted plans for up to 230 dwellings in 2017, but then submitted a revised bid after the adoption of Barnsley’s local plan in January 2019.

A section 106 agreement - money set aside for loss of amenity - is also proposed under which the developer would contribute to school capacity, alterations to the nearby roundabout, sustainable travel and improvements to off-site greenspace.

The developer will also agree to providing ten per cent affordable housing.

Coun Andrew Gillis says he understands the need for the development of homes but feels this application will only exacerbate the traffic on Stairfoot roundabout.

He told the Chronicle: “To be honest the biggest problem is going to be that roundabout.

“Every single car from the houses will only have one way of getting into the estate and one way of getting out - that’s the roundabout.

“There’s already cars backed up to Wombwell Lane at times and it’s atrocious - it’s going to cause a lot of problems.”

Plans to change the former Frankie and Benny’s restaurant on Doncaster Road - next to the roundabout - were approved by the council last month, though Coun Gillis feels that this will also bring more problems.

“The new Starbucks and proposed Burger King is going to cause problems as well,” he added. “Cars were backing up onto the roundabout from McDonald’s when restrictions were eased and it shows the problems that there could be.

“People have to have houses but my worry is the amount of pressure it’s going to put on all the services we have.

“We can’t keep building houses with the same infrastructure in place - everything is going to get clogged up.”

However, the councillor - who’s served the ward since May 2019 - admits that if planning companies ‘tick all the boxes’ then there’s little members can do to influence applications under consideration.

“People think that councillors can stop planning applications but they can’t if they’ve ticked all the boxes,” he added.

“Our hands are tied if the application meets all legal requirements, so when I looked at the plans I inserted conditions.”