Coun Joe Blackham has application for 59 homes in Moorends rejected

One of Doncaster’s most senior councillors has had an application to build dozens of homes in a borough village rejected.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 11:48 am
Coun Joe Blackham and the proposed homes plan

Members on the planning committee voted four to three in rejecting 59 homes in Moorends on land owned by Coun Joe Blackham off Bloomhill Road.

Coun Blackham, who sits on Mayor Ros Jones’ cabinet, was met with fierce opposition from local residents as 182 people signed a petition against the development with a further 24 sending in letters of opposition.

Council planners have also received 107 notes of support for the scheme but documents show 19 of those supporting the scheme ‘share the same surname as Coun Blackham’.

In a meeting which at times turned bad-tempered, Coun Blackham called the planning department’s application documents ‘fiction’ and said new material brought to the committee showed the site had merit for housing.

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Planning chair Coun Susan Durant and Coun Mark Houlbrook - who both represent the Thorne & Moorends ward with Coun Blackham - declared an interest in the item and made themselves excused while the application was discussed.

Principal planning officer Mel Roberts recommended councillors reject the scheme. He has said the proposal will be ‘out of character’ with the surrounding area at the floor levels of 3.5 metres required to mitigate against flood risk.

The development consists a mixture of two, three and four bedroom properties with access to the site from Bloomhill Road through the side garden of a bungalow called Rivendell.

Resident Derek Fell spoke against the application and said if the plot is approved for homes, it could trigger a ‘domino effect’ on surrounding plots.

“There’s been historical major flooding on the site to surrounding properties and there is only one entrance and exit to this site which is going to cause major traffic problems which are already bad at the moment,” he said.

“This is only phase one of a wider development of 200 properties.

“Properties around this site already suffer from serious surface water which has resulted in the fire service having to pump out homes for days.

“Bloomhill Road towards Marshland Road is the busiest crossroads in Moorends which has the pub on one side and cars already overflow from the car park onto the road during busy functions.”

The cabinet member had the support of former councillor John McHale who spoke at the meeting.

He said: “This goes some way to helping to build the much needed affordable homes required.

“The development has demonstrated it can be saved from flooding and does not create any issues that can’t be mitigated.

The floor levels suggested by the Environment Agency are consistent with other developments that have been granted approval in nearby localities.

“It will contribute to affordable housing, open space and education provision. I believe it delivers economic, social and environmental objectives.”