GROUND has broken on a 35-home estate in Monk Bretton that was permitted in spite of opposition from locals.

The development off St Michael’s Avenue garnered fierce opposition from residents when plans were announced, with a petition of 600 signatures handed in to planning bosses.

The 1.19-hectare site has been used predominantly for grazing and is undeveloped, though campaigners complained the development would destroy a habitat and thoroughfare between neighbouring green spaces.

Birds, bats and hedgehogs are all accounted for in the plans, but campaigners said measures to preserve wildlife didn’t go far enough - with deer and foxes spotted on the site during lockdown.

The development was given the go-ahead by planners in December 2020 and will provide 24 two, three and four-bedroom houses, seven two-bedroom bungalows, and four two-bedroom apartments.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “The government/ says that/ we/ must provide/ 21,524 new homes by 2033, and we’re dedicated to making sure our borough will have/ sustainable, quality/ housing,/ so/ you/ can live in/ the/ right/ house/ for/ you.

“I’m delighted we’re now able to get moving on these exciting new homes which will help us achieve that.”

Esh Construction will work in partnership with Jefferson Sheard Architects and MJM Consulting Engineers.

Construction work is now underway with the first new homes stated to be available next spring.