A NEW housing estate which will be built a stone’s throw from a primary school where chaotic drop-off and pick-ups have brought the village to a ‘standstill’ will exacerbate matters, locals have warned.

The High Street site, owned by Homes England, has been vacant for more than a decade but it will now transformed into an ‘affordable housing’ development made up of 40 properties.

Countryside Partnerships has secured a contract with housing provider The Guinness Partnership to create the site, it was revealed this week.

A lack of privacy and a loss of habitat were both cited as reasons to object before Barnsley Council’s planning board awarded approval a year ago.

However, road safety was the crux of the issues raised, due to its positioning near Shafton Primary School and High Street being ‘unable to cope’ with more traffic.

According to an artist’s impression, a new junction will be created on High Street, giving access to the new development.

Andrew Poyner, managing director of Countryside Partnerships, said: “This site has a long history and we’re delighted to see it finally moving forward in partnership with Guinness.

“Our shared commitment to providing high-quality, mixed-tenure housing across the region is evident, having already delivered over 200 affordable homes together.

“This new development will transform a previously redundant space that has long been earmarked for development into a vibrant community.”

Shafton resident Dave North, who is the former chairman of the village’s parish council, told the Chronicle the long-awaited development was ‘bad news’ for High Street’s traffic woes.

“The site’s had a long history of approved planning applications but not one came to fruition in the end,” he added.

“So when this came around a few years ago, parish councillors at the time waited to see what happened and Barnsley Council’s planning board eventually gave the green light.

“However, the issues raised in the public consultation period remain the same: High Street is already a very busy road, especially at peak times during the school term, so adding more cars into that is a serious concern.

“There’s a sense that this will exacerbate matters and have a negative impact on safety.”