No love for Doncaster Council as campaigners stage Valentine’s Day protest against Rose Hill green space sell off for housing

There was no love for Mayor Ros Jones who’s been accused of ‘seeking to destroy’ an established area of green space for housing in a Doncaster estate.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 2:07 pm

Dozens of campaigners fighting to save an area of green space off Rose Hill in Bessacarr from the bulldozer, handed Mayor Jones a Valentine’s Day card urging her to reverse a decision in allocating the land for housing.

The piece of land – which borders Doncaster Racecourse – was originally designated for housing back in a development plan in 1998 and was incorporated into the new Local Plan despite anger from residents in the area.

But campaigners said the land may have been suitable for housing in 1998 but nearly 25 years on, they said it was completely inappropriate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Campaigner's and councillors outside Doncaster Council's Waterdale offices during a Valentine's Day protest against the sale of green space in Rose Hill, Bessacarr. Plans have reportedly been submitted which could result in 166 homes being built on a wooded area used regularly by dog walkers and horse riders.

A planning application is currently being formalised by developer Miller Homes which could include 166 properties.

The site was once arable farmland but has since been left fallow and has ‘rewilded’ with new tree growth thanks to its proximity to the edge of Sandall Beat Woods. A footpath through the field provides access to the woodland.

Campaigners accused the mayor and the council of ‘hypocrisy’ after the authority declared a climate emergency. Mayor Jones also pledged in her mayoral manifesto that the council would aim to plant one million trees and she would dedicate half of her salary to do this.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Wendy Wright from Rose Hill Residents Association, said: “We have attempted to engage with Mayor Ros Jones and council officers regarding the situation only to be continuously informed the area is designated for housing since 1998.

Campaigner's and councillors are against the sale of green space in Rose Hill, Bessacarr. Plans have reportedly been submitted which could result in 166 homes being built on a wooded area used regularly by dog walkers and horse riders.

“Maybe the field was suitable then, we don’t know but over 25 years things have changed. The area has many mature trees and supports a variety of habitats. We doubt that these officers have even visited the site to see for themselves yet they are making decisions that will affect our local environment forever.

“The field is the only asset we have in Rose Hill, it’s part of the wildlife corridor leading to Sandall Beat Wood and it is very well used by a lot of people.

“In her election manifesto, the mayor talked about a cleaner, greener, Doncaster and stated she would give half her salary to plant trees. Yet she seeks to destroy an established wooded area and green space.

“This is not a case of being a NIMBY (not in my backyard) but a determined effort to save a natural green environment, not only for us but for generations to come.”

A spokesman for Mayor Jones said she couldn’t comment due to the ongoing planning application.