- Alexander Stafford MP opposed developers' plans to build almost 200 houses on green belt land in Kiveton Park
- His objection statement was read at the meeting of the planning board in Rotherham Town Hall as virtual meetings have ceased and Alexander had Parliamentary business
- Planning board voted 5-4 to reject the application in victory for green belt
Alexander Stafford, local MP for Rother Valley, ensured that his voice was heard in today's meeting of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council's (RMBC) Planning Board regarding the proposed housing development at Kiveton Park.
The planning board met to discuss proposal RB2021/0048, land off Chapel Way/ Lambrell Avenue, Kiveton Park, submitted by Strata Homes Limited. The proposed development would see almost 200 houses built on green belt land in the village, and was met by opposition from many residents, councillors, other local stakeholders, and local MP Aexander Stafford.
Although parliamentary business prevented Alexander from attending the meeting, which was held in person at Rotherham Town Hall, his statement objecting to the proposal was read by planning officers and put before the board.
Alexander objected to the use of this green belt land for a development which fundamentally changed the nature of a small village and concreted over green space, as well as raising significant concerns about the impact this development would have on local infrastructure such as roads, schools etc., and that, ultimately, it was not wanted by the local community.
The planning board voted to reject this application in a close 5-4 vote.
Commenting, Alexander said:
I welcome the news that the Planning Board has chosen to reject this proposal, albeit by a very small margin.
There are so many people who have helped bring about this success and thanks must go out to each and every one of them for bringing about this victory for our green spaces.
It does show that by working together we can defeat this encroachment onto our greenbelt. RMBC needs to prioritise building on brown belt land rather than designating green belt as areas to build on.
The content of Alexander's objection is, in full, as follows:
This application needs to be rejected. It is not supported by the local community, who have submitted numerous objections on the main themes of loss of green space, increased flood risk, traffic concerns and the impact on public services. It is clear that the measures in the report do not go far enough to address these concerns.
As the planning board will know, the National Planning Policy Framework defines sustainable development as: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is central to the economic, environmental and social success of the country and is the core principle underpinning planning.
This development is a loss of a green space, further destruction of our natural environment, is changing the character of a small village, and does not provide the improved measures needed to support an increased population in public service improvements.
We should be protecting and enhancing our natural environment. No one can argue that concreting over our beautiful green spaces surrounding our villages in Rother Valley is enhancing our natural environment. Our countryside should be safeguarded for future generations.
Green Belt should be cherished. Our countryside should be cherished and preserved. The priority must be regeneration through the recycling of derelict and other urban land. The Council must accept that the community in Rother Valley does not accept that this piece of land, and other land taken out of the Green Belt is required for housing, when brownfield sites around the Borough remain undeveloped. The Council must put forward some form of sequential approach whereby Green Belt land is used only after other sources have been exploited.
Residents have raised their concerns on the impact to local services, schools, GP surgeries and the transport network. These concerns about how stretched services currently are and how congested the main roads through Kiveton Park currently are, already exist.
I can see nothing in this application that would suggest that this development would improve the current situation, and more concerning, is that many valid concerns that have been raised in the objections, have been dismissed as irrelevant or of no consequence.
Reading the Planning Regulatory Board report to the hearing, I know that officers and the developer will argue that residents’ concerns have either been addressed or are non-issues to be ignored. However, I have not spoken to one member of the local community believes that these mitigation measures are sufficient to address their concerns.
Our countryside should be cherished and preserved. The priority must be regeneration through the recycling of derelict and other urban land. The Council must accept that the community in Rother Valley does not accept that this piece of land, and other land taken out of the Green Belt is required for housing, when brownfield sites around the Borough remain undeveloped. The Council must put forward some form of sequential approach whereby Green Belt land is used only after other sources have been exploited.
I ask that the board rejects this application.