Developments on two former pit sites set to move ahead today

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DEVELOPMENT of a new town with almost 4,000 homes. as well as schools, restaurants and offices, on a former pit site in South Yorkshire are set to move a step forward at a planning committee meeting today.

Rotherham Council is set to approve final plans for a new road, “entrance gateway”, electricity substation and landscaping on the former Orgreave colliery, which would allow construction work on the multi-million pound Waverley development to go ahead.

Two years ago, the authority gave outline planning consent for the Waverley new town, as well as a separate development of 60,000 square metres of Government offices, on the site near Catcliffe.

Harworth Estates - the housing arm of UK Coal - has now drawn up detailed plans for a new access “feeder road” from what is currently the Rolls Royce roundabout. This “reserved matters” application is set to be approved by councillors today.

In the report which is set to go before today’s committee meeting, town planners say the proposals invove creating a new “primary access road into phase 1a of the Waverley New Community along with the partial construction of the new Waverley Road, which are connected via a T-junction.”

The report adds: “It is considered that the construction of the proposed access roads are considered to be acceptable in terms of highway safety and have been designed adequately to serve the new traffic associated with phase 1a of the new community.”

When viewed from the nearby Advanced Manufacturing Park, the most prominent aspect of the latest proposals will be an “entrance gateway feature” with two “feature walls” on either side of the new road.

The town planners say: “This feature will frame the entrance to the new community and provide a sense of arrival.”

The electricity substation, which would be “utilitarian” in design, would be built to the north east of the proposed new T-junction.

“The construction of the new access roads, structure planting and drainage works are within principles and parameters of the approved outline permission and will both enhance the existing site and facilitate a proposed new development”, the planners say.

“The proposed level of landscaping and species used is also considered to be acceptable in this location given the nature of the surrounding area.”

According to UK Coal, the Waverley scheme will be carried out in “four super-phases” before being completed in 2030.

It is thought that constructionwork could begin this year, subject to reserved planning applications being approved.

Meanwhile, at the same committee meeting today, members of Rotherham Council are also set to give Strata Homes permission to alter its current planning permission for a housing development off Manvers Way in the Dearne Valley.

The developer has permission to build 93 new homes on the site of the former Wath marshalling yards and colliery complex.

However, due to “difficult market conditions”, Strata Homes is now looking to “completely overhaul the design and layout of the previously approved scheme.”

The town planners’ report says: “The revised development is intended to create a scheme with a much more distinctive character which the applicant considers will be more attractive to future occupiers.”

The changes to the previously-approved application involve reducing the number of homes to 65, building houses of a “higher quality” and introducing a “greater variety of different unit types.”

Nearby supermarket Aldi has written to Rotherham Council indicating that it “fully supports” the application.

Recommending that councillors grant planning permission at today’s meeting, the town planners say: “It is considered that the proposed development would increase the mix and variety of accommodation available within this part of Rotherham.”