DEVELOPERS behind controversial plans for a 1,760-home estate - delayed due to the Coal Authority’s concerns with the site’s significant mining history - are set to submit further information to Barnsley Council following ground investigation works.
Site MU1 - situated between Pogmoor, Higham and Barugh Green along the M1 corridor - is subject to planning applications lodged in August last year by Strata Homes and Sterling Capitol, who make up the Barnsley West Consortium (BWC).
Having a number of underground coal seams - some as deep as 350 metres - the Coal Authority stepped in due to the site’s past, forcing BWC into ‘refining’ the details of its bid to address ground stability concerns.
Ground investigations revealed there may be ‘insufficient’ rock cover in seams known as Gawber, Swallow Wood, Thin and Top Haigh Moor - and the Chronicle can reveal work is still ongoing ahead of the revised plan’s submission to the council.
A BWC spokesperson said: “We are committed to bringing forward the high-quality homes and jobs that Barnsley needs.
“We believe that the site gives a fantastic opportunity to deliver this investment.
“We continue to refine and further develop our proposals as part of the planning process before submitting further information to the council for consideration.
“We look forward to sharing this in due course.”
The Coal Authority lodged ‘fundamental concerns’ with the local authority’s planning bosses when the would-be development broke cover, and yesterday said 12 mine entries are present on the site, as well as two within 20 metres of its boundary.
If shallow mine workings are proven, mitigation measures are likely to comprise drilling and grouting below any proposed buildings or highways.
A report, obtained by the Chronicle, added: “There remains a residual risk from underground workings in the east and south of the site, and potentially in the west, where insufficient rock cover is present.
“Settlement analysis will also be required to include total and differential
settlement with respect to highwalls, in order to confirm that future settlements, including creep compression, are tolerable in relation to the proposed foundation solution.
“It is likely that residential housing and other buildings will be constructed on either raft foundations or reinforced strips following a large-scale earthworks operation.
“There is also the potential for unrecorded mineshafts.”
According to the council, a revised target decision date of October 30 has been set, but campaigners from Keep it Green remain hopeful that some of the site will be protected as a result of the ground conditions.
A statement said: “A number of concerns were raised (after the plan’s original submission), including matters that the council considered to be unsatisfactory and which needed to be addressed further.
“We asked the council for an update on the position and the brief response was that the next submission of information from BWC was likely to be in September at the earliest.
“The council will issue a re-consultation when this is submitted.”