A campaigning group has spoken out against house builders’ demands to develop swathes of Green Belt land around Rotherham.
At the Rotherham Local Plan Examination, which closed on Friday, major housing developers called for ‘big and early’ releases of sites from the Green Belt, that would allow large-scale house building in the countryside around the town.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s planning officer, Andrew Wood, said “We may need more housing in South Yorkshire but it must be in the right places. This means concentrating on brownfield sites and achieving much better public transport.
“Letting new housing sprawl out into the countryside just makes matters worse, by not recycling derelict sites and housing people further and further away from public services.”
Rotherham Council needs to plan to build 14,500 new homes by 2028, some of which will need to be on greenfield sites, it says.
However, CPRE has called for a ‘phased approach’ that ensures brownfield sites in Waverley and central Rotherham are developed first, and greenfield sites are only developed if and when they are really needed.
Representatives of the house building industry have lobbied for early release of greenfield sites that campaigners feel will reduce Rotherham’s focus on recycling its former industrial sites.