A PROBE into ‘large-scale’ fly-tipping left at a former coking plant - which saw Barnsley Council take action against the landowner when fire chiefs stepped in following a spate of arson incidents - has resulted in the site finally being cleared.

The council issued an enforcement notice against Monckton Developments in Royston following pressure from residents, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency.

The notice allowed an eight-month period of time for bosses to return the land to its previous condition after it was found that ‘large piles’ of construction waste had accumulated at the Lund Hill Lane site over several years.

This, the council claimed, represented a breach of planning control and required a ‘change-of-use’ application which had not been sought.

Monckton Developments subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, but a site visit by the government-run body ruled in the council’s favour.

However, the Chronicle can now reveal the site - which once employed 130 people - has now been put right by the owner, with tipped waste cleared and security stepped up.

A council spokesperson said: “Officers met with the owners of the Monckton site for a site inspection.

“The remedial work being undertaken falls within the permitted development, meaning it can proceed without planning permission.

“This indicates Monckton’s efforts to make sure the site is secure and safe.

“It signifies a positive step towards co-operation and acknowledges Monckton’s commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities in securing the site.”

The plant once supplied coke destined for use in glass, detergents and steel manufacturing but was hit hard because Chinese suppliers were able to undercut its prices.

Its then-owner, Hargreaves, subsequently entered a consultation process with employees on October 27, 2014 and ceased production just two months later, resulting in Monckton’s 130-strong workforce losing their jobs.

Since its closure, it’s changed hands twice and a planning application for up to 500 homes - lodged with the council in 2020 - has been shelved.

Coun Caroline Makinson, who represents the Royston ward, added: “This was a fantastic multi-agency effort - their hard work has given us this positive result.

“The site is a gateway to Royston, directly opposite our beautiful Rabbit Ings Country Park.

“It’s good news that it’s been put right at long last and hopefully there will be a better future at Monckton.

“The housing plan has been withdrawn but the site has so much potential, so it’s something we’re all keen to see have a new, long-term use.”