SHELVED plans which initially sought to build an ‘urban village’ in Barnsley town centre are set to re-emerge next month - after council bosses embarked on revising the scheme to save on mounting costs.

Barnsley Council axed its long-held plans for The Seam, on County Way, which had promised a 386-space multi-storey car park and an energy-efficient housing estate.

A new two-phase plan for The Seam has been drawn up and is set to go before ruling cabinet members on April 17, the Chronicle understands, where approval is expected to be given after cash from the Future High Streets Fund - totalling £15.6m - was secured.

New plans include public realm improvements to the standard seen at the nearby Glass Works with enhanced lighting, CCTV, street furniture and 40 electric vehicle charging points.

The council said that instead of the new-build homes, the Lower Seam car park will be ‘extensively refurbished’ to create a more welcoming space for visitors, commuters and businesses.

Coun Robert Frost, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “We see The Seam as the heart of Barnsley’s future economy.

“These updated proposals will allow us to get moving on improvements we want to see as soon as possible.

“We’ve revisited our plans for The Seam and we’re moving ahead with this first phase, while we continue to look at funding opportunities and partnerships for a second phase.”

Plans for new public realm include a large community greenspace, a promenade route which is designed to form the main footway through the lower area, connecting steps and an accessible ramp built between the different levels.

There is a ‘clear focus’ on pedestrian priority, with less traffic being encouraged through the site and traffic-free areas within the public realm.

Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, added: “Future High Streets funding is helping us transform this site to bring forward the next phase of town centre development which will bring together people, learning, business and places to help grow more innovative, digital jobs and businesses.

“The current DMC hub for the digital industries has seen great success providing a home for businesses and entrepreneurs since its development nearly 15 years ago.

“DMC 02, which opened in the middle of the pandemic, has quickly grown and is now full.

“The Seam builds on this great work already happening and this phase one development gives us an accessible and innovative urban village and digital cluster within the town centre where we can try new ideas, support positive change for Barnsley and build towards our 2030 ambitions for sustainability and growth.”