‘Take the council to court and teach us a lesson’ Doncaster councillor tells residents over care home row

A councillor has told campaigners to ‘take Doncaster Council to court’ over a planning row surrounding a new care home on green space in a borough estate.

By George Torr
Wednesday, 01 May, 2019, 13:16
Coun Jonathan Wood and the proposed development area

Sprotbrough Coun Jonathan Wood said residents opposing a new care home on green space off Goodison Boulevard in Cantley should ‘teach the council a lesson’ by taking legal action. 

Runwood Homes has applied to increase the number of bedrooms from 75 to 83 after being granted planning permission in 2017. 

But campaigners say the build should not go ahead and is in breach of a covenant. 

The lively meeting heard from three residents and ward councillor Steve Cox who all spoke against the plan. 

Resident Alan Stone who spoke in opposition of the plans, brought his house deeds with him to the meeting which he said includes a covenant outlining that the land has been given to the people for open space and recreation and not for building. 

The group also raised concerns around the loss off parking, increase in traffic and supposed Section 106 agreement from then previous Co-op development nearby which included sports amenities on the land. 

But councillors voted in favour of the alteration to the plans five votes to two. 

Planning bosses on Doncaster Council said there was ‘no suggestion’ the land had been left in any will.  

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Coun Wood, who voted against the plan, said: “I hope these residents know that they can apply to the courts to say that there is a covenant with this land and they hope they take legal action to teach this council a lesson.”

But planning chair Iris Beech said: “I’ve said this several times that they (the developer) could go and dig a hole tomorrow and start building.

“They already have planning permission and this is about if we agree to the plans to add an extra eight bedrooms and alternations to the roof line.”

Doncaster Council solicitor Heidi Lehane said councillors on the committee shouldn’t take the covenant issue into consideration as it was a ‘private matter’ and ‘not a planning issue’. 

Planning officer Mel Roberts, said: “The addition of eight bedrooms has been achieved within the same footprint of the original scheme, by making better use of the space available.

“This has the benefit of providing more spaces for people who are in need of this type of facility.

“There will be no impact in terms of traffic generated and the additional three car parking spaces accords with the Council’s parking standards.

“The revised designed is an improved and more simplistic solution that will lessen the scale of the building when viewed by the surrounding residents."