Decision on controversial plan to build 59 homes in Moorends on land owned by councillor Joe Blackham to be heard

One of Doncaster’s most senior councillors has caused controversy by proposing to build dozens of houses on greenfield land in a borough village.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 18:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 11:33 am
The proposed area of development

Councillor Joe Blackham, who serves on Mayor Ros Jones’ cabinet, wants planning permission for 59 properties on his land to the rear of Rivendell on Bloomhill Road in Moorends.

The proposal has divided opinion with 182 people signing 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.

Councillor Joe Blackham and the proposed housing development in Moorends

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Principal planning officer Mel Roberts has recommended councillors on the planning committee 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

Coun Blackham has submitted that he owns the four acre plot in his declarations of interest on the council’s website.

Many objecting to the application gave a variety of reasons as to why they think the scheme should be rejected.

Issues raised included the high flood zone risk, concerns over access and village infrastructure is ‘inadequate to cope with the additional housing’.

Other concerns were raised around detrimental impact on ecology, village expansion and overlooking on existing properties.

Those supporting the scheme said Moorends needs more homes and the ‘development will attract investment’ into the community.

Other reasons included the build will bring ‘much needed affordable housing’ and ‘an influx of children into the area will help the schools’.

Planning officer Mel Roberts said: “The application is contrary to policies of the Core Strategy and policy of the Doncaster Unitary Development Plan, which do not normally allow for housing developments in the countryside.

“There would be some benefits arising from the proposal including the provision of affordable housing and the creation of jobs during construction of the development.

“But these material considerations do not outweigh the fact that the proposal is contrary to the Development Plan in that the site is countryside and is within Flood Zone 3 and there is no pressing need to release this site for housing at this stage.”

Councillors will make the final decision at a meeting at Civic Office on Tuesday, August 20.

The meeting starts at 2pm and the public are welcome to attend.