New questions over ring-road in park proposals

Coun Hannah Kitching
Coun Hannah Kitching
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Barnsley Council has been asked to justify the “financial sense” in pressing ahead with plans to develop a ring-road on the Penny Pie Park site after substantial sums of public money have been pumped into the recreation site.

The authority is pressing ahead with plans to install a gyratory to free up traffic flow between junction 37 of the M1 and the town centre after ruling out other options.

But the proposals have met with stiff resistance from residents and fresh noise study documents prepared for council planners, who will ultimately decide whether the scheme is appropriate, have shown some in the area will experience increased noise.

Research by the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed the park had been allocated around £174,000 of public money by the council – the most of any park in the borough – during the last five years, though not all that cash had been spent by the time the site was identified as the preferred location for the road scheme.

Lib Dem Coun Hannah Kitching asked at a full meeting of Barnsley Council: “Having invested this money, does it make financial sense to lose the value of this investment?”

She said the scheme would “destroy people’s lives in this area” if it progressed and asked if there was unanimous backing for the project within the council.

Coun Roy Miller, the spokesman for place on the controlling Cabinet, said he would respond in writing because the questions involved technical issues.

Matters had been discussed at a previous briefing for councillors, he said.

Plans to introduced the gyratory were announced earlier this year following a detailed investigation by specialists which examined more than 30 options.

Some of those ruled out would have involved the loss of homes or gardens, which the authority has sought to avoid.

However, it would mean putting a carriageway around the perimeter of the park, leaving some land outside the highway and an island of the park remaining inside.