Threatened Doncaster play area saved as cheap homes plans backed

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A CHILDREN’S play area in a deprived part of Doncaster has been saved after plans to build houses on it were rejected by councillors.

Rossington Tenants and Residents’ Association and a ward councillor yesterday persuaded Doncaster Council’s planning committee to refuse the application for a terrace of four affordable homes on the site in Meadow Court.

The fenced area is next to a former block of flats and is maintained by the TARA, which was were keen to see it retained for local children to play on.

The application by South Yorkshire Housing Association had been recommended for approval by planning officers, who said the site would still include a smaller public open space area.

But Coun Richard Cooper-Holmes, speaking on behalf of the parish council and the TARA, said: “We object on the grounds of loss of public open space and amenity. The alternative play area is too close to the road and only one-eighth of the area used now.

“The area manager for this area recognises Radburn Road and that area has no facilities whatsoever. It is an area of high deprivation with a lack of facilities.

“It is also a high density of building - it’s the equivalent of 160 per acre, that’s ridiculous in real terms.”

Coun Cooper-Holmes said the small open space offered as an alternative would be ‘just unusable’ for games.

He was supported by Coun Alan Jones, who said there were lots of little children who would miss out. “It’s more of a decorative garden than a play area,” he said.

Only two members of the committee voted in favour of the scheme and it was refused on the grounds of loss of public amenity.

But the committee unanimously approved a SYHA application for 14 affordable homes on the site of the old Meadow Court flats. Applications for seven dwellings on a garages site in Broom Hill Road, and another 10 in Newlands Close, Cantley, were also granted.