'Overwhelming support' for Hatfield Woodhouse homes plan passed by councillors against officer advice

A housing developer has had a plan for five homes approved after falling short just months earlier.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 19:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 18:32 pm
The proposed development area

Peter Thompson’s similar application to build the properties on land at Field Cottage off Main Street in Hatfield Woodhouse was passed this time around.

The plan also included garages and provision of enhanced access drive to the neighbouring community centre.

A previous application was rejected in March of this year and was subsequently thrown out on appeal by Government planning inspectors.

Planning officers at Doncaster Council recommended the application should be rejected again.

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The application was being presented to planning committee at the request of councillors Joe Blackham and Hatfield ward members Derek Smith and Linda Curran, who support the application.

But planning case officer Dave Richards said whilst the comments of support were noted, the application has ‘not significantly altered from the previous refusal other than the inclusion of a 600mm footpath’.

Planning agent Jim Lomas said the application did differ from the previous plan.

Coun Smith said he supported the application on the basis that it would ‘improve the single track lane’ between the new homes and the village hall to allow two cars to safely pass when using the hall car park.

Coun Curran added the current site is landlocked and has had ‘issues with fly-tipping and pests’.

The plan is also backed by the chairman of Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall who say the wider development will improve access for those using the village hall and encourage parents whose children attend the nearby primary school to use the centre for parking instead of the main road.

Mr Richards said added the proposal would ‘result in harm to the character and appearance of the countryside’ and would not represent quality infill.

But this was rejected by committee members who noted the ‘overwhelming support in the community’.

Coun Joe Blackham, who spoke in favour of the application, said the plans would alleviate traffic problems along the A614.

“I don’t want to go too much into the planning policy side but this for all to see is more about common sense,” he said.

“We have a moral and social responsibility for the teachers, children and parents.”

Recommending councillors reject the scheme, Mr Richards said: “Planning law requires proposals to be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

“In this case, the material considerations are the supply of housing and the provision of a widened access road to Hatfield Woodhouse which has attracted local support.

“However, taken as a whole, the limited weight which can be applied towards these considerations is significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the conflict with the development plan as a whole.”