The quote from Mayor Ros Jones in your article last week referring to Doncaster council’s selling of Rose Hill for housing shows how the council and Mayor Jones’ talk of urgent action being needed to protect the environment is just that – talk.
Development of Rose Hill is a choice being made by the council and could be stopped in an instant if they withdrew the site from sale. But the council is refusing to do so and is instead effectively granting a developer planning permission to build on the council’s own land. The council seems more interested in pocketing developers’ cash than protecting the environment and following their own Environmental Strategy which says, for example, that the council will protect and enhance woodland, green spaces and biodiversity as a priority and that there will be a presumption against development that will result in the loss of trees.
Yes, the site had previously been allocated for housing – but that was over 25 years ago when it was agricultural land: it’s now a rewilded biodiverse green area covered in trees (the same trees that Mayor Jones says she wants to protect) and an area which is widely used by the local community for recreation.
Mayor Jones says in her introduction to the council’s Environmental Strategy that we need to “act now” to combat climate change, and that “we are the generation that will need to take the difficult decisions, to take the ‘short-term pain’, in order to achieve the longer-term gain that results from our actions today” calling on “all Doncaster residents, businesses and organisations to put the environment at the forefront of their thinking.” I hope she will take her own advice and protect Rose Hill and many threatened greenfield sites like it in Doncaster from development.
Chris Owen,Kestrel Drive,