Residents anger over woodland green space housing plans

Joan and Bill Weir, Neighbourhood watch, pictured with residents from Ivor Grove and Evanston Gardens as they protest against plans to build 60 new homes on their doorsteps. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Protest MC 2
Joan and Bill Weir, Neighbourhood watch, pictured with residents from Ivor Grove and Evanston Gardens as they protest against plans to build 60 new homes on their doorsteps. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Protest MC 2

Angry residents on a pensioners’ estate in Doncaster are drawing up plans fight proposals to build housing on quiet woodlands near their homes.

Developer Keepmoat is looking to build on a patch of land next to Ivor Grove and Evanston Gardens in Balby, which is popular with residents for taking walks and exercising their pets.

The scheme would bring around 60 new homes to Doncaster.

But the plans have upset residents who say the local roads are not up to the increased traffic caused by construction and fear for the loss of space which is a haven for nature.

Around 200 people have already put their names to a petition against the scheme.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Joan Weir, who is among campaigners fighting the scheme, said residents want the plans halting.

She said: “They want to build on a field and the woods.

“We are not happy. It is a very small road that leads to the site. How is it going to cope with the lorries?

“We’re worried that it’s a done deal, although we’ve not yet seen a planning application, but we’ve heard they want to start next March.

“At the moment the site is a field and woods. The council cuts the grass on the field. But there is such a lot of wildlife there – it would be such a shame to see it built over.

“It would be such a loss of land at the end of an OAP estate.

“There are lots of rabbits there and we’ve even seen deer, as well as birds and foxes.

“Everyone around here is angry because it’s such a nice place. People walk their dogs there. It means people don’t have to go to Hexthorpe Park.”

Keepmoat confirmed the firm was looking at building in Balby and said a public consultation event was planned.

A spokesperson for Keepmoat said: “We are in the very early stages of discussions with our partners regarding the development of new homes in Balby.

“We are committed to working closely with the local community and will of course listen to any concerns raised at the upcoming public consultation event.”

Doncaster Council says the site has been identified for housing development since the adoption of the Unitary Development Plan in 1998.

A spokesman said: “The council owns several sites identified for development and tries to keep them green and attractive in the interim for the enjoyment of local residents. However, the longer term intent on many of these sites is to provide much needed housing.

“The planning application process will require an assessment of the site’s ecology. It will also look at highway access and parking requirements along with other usual planning issues. Local people will be able to comment during this process.”