‘Sad day’ as estate is given go-ahead

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Residents opposed to a new housing estate on a green field site at Askern, Doncaster, have lost their planning battle.

The Mayor of Askern, Coun Howard Connell, said it was “a sad day” after Doncaster Council’s planning committee voted 5 to 2 in favour of the outline application by David Fielder Homes.

The firm is planning to build nearly 60 dwellings on a field off Highfield Road.

A total of 89 residents had signed a petition of objection, which was supported by ward and town councillors, along with the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones.

Objectors said planning permission had already been granted for more than 700 homes in Askern, on brownfield sites, and questioned the need to build on agricultural land they described as a ‘meadow’.

Coun Connell said: “Is it about need or enrichment for somebody?

“We had a lot of concerned residents who objected but it seems as if the council officers and developers get to win.”

The town council also expressed concerns about traffic congestion on Moss Road and the A19 and said the new estate would need room for 100 or so extra cars.

Other residents living nearby warned of potential flooding, putting existing homes at risk if the plan was given the go-ahead.

But David Fielder, a developer for the past 30 years, said very few people of Askern’s 11,000 population had signed the petition.

“There will be no surface water going down Highfield Road, it all goes into a dyke at the rear.

“I bought this site many years ago and it is listed on the council’s development plan for 90 properties, I am looking at 60 or less. I intend to develop it, not sit on it. I intend to start building within six months of approval.”

Planning committee members were warned the land had been allocated as suitable for housing as far back as 1998 and that would weigh heavily against the council if they refused permission and it went to an appeal.

Doncaster Council highways engineeers said they had no objections, as long as Highfield Road is widened to 5.5m, and Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency did not oppose the scheme.

Planning officer Mel Roberts said: “The site is sustainable, being located close to facilities within Askern town centre and within 400m walking distance of public transport. All planning issues have been resolved.”