PLANNING documents have revealed more than 230 homes could be built near one of Barnsley’s most notorious traffic bottlenecks.
Would-be developer for the Bleachcroft Way site, Harron Homes, have outlined their bid to build 236 homes in Stairfoot neighbouring the former B and Q site which has stood empty for more than five years.
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, but outline permission for homes has already been granted, leading Harron Homes to submit a bid for full consent.
According to documents obtained by the Chronicle ahead of its release to the public, the development would deliver a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom homes - all with electric vehicle charging points - and 12.5 hectares of woodland.
Tony Lee, managing director of Harron Homes, said: “We are delighted to have submitted a planning application for this new development.
“We are hopeful that our plans will rejuvenate this derelict site while maintaining the rich variety of wildlife which calls this site home, and bring much needed homes to the Barnsley area.
“The Dob Sike waterway is a historic area of high ecological value which is home to ancient trees, water voles and other wildlife.
“It will be restored and maintained by Harron and incorporated into the new development.
“The development will also feature an area of birch oak woodland that in previous plans for the site was lost.”
A planning statement added: “The proposed site has three main areas of public open space - an informal footpath through the retained woodland and main surfaced path will form good connections through the site and encourage use.
“The boundaries adjacent to railway line will be strengthened with a native shrub or tree buffer mix, while guidance shall be taken from Network Rail on recommended planting species and distances from the railway track.
“Along the southern boundary adjacent to Dob Sike the existing wet woodland vegetation will be retained and enhanced with suitable trees, shrubs and wildflowers.”
Coun Andrew Gillis said the application will only exacerbate the traffic on Stairfoot roundabout, a well-known blackspot at peak times.
However, the Chronicle understands planners will strike a Section 106 agreement - money set aside to benefit the community - under which the developer would contribute to school capacity, alterations to the roundabout, sustainable travel and improvements to off-site greenspace as well as providing ten per cent affordable housing.
Coun Gillis told the Chronicle: “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.
“We can’t keep building houses with the same infrastructure in place - everything is going to get clogged up.”