Wortley masterplan - improvement needed

1st Aug 2011

We're calling for improvements to ambitious plans to develop Wortley. The Wharncliffe Estate has submitted the Wortley Masterplan to Barnsley Council with details of housing, new employment space, more car parking and a sportsfield on 14 different sites in the village. The centre of Wortley is a conservation area, and the village is surrounded by Green Belt land.

We're objecting to plans for two large detached houses on attractive open land that was formerly the estate’s deer park, and is now protected as part of the Green Belt. There’s no real justification for sacrificing this valuable landscape for a couple of large houses. Although the Masterplan says that they are essential in order to fund improvements to Wortley’s infrastructure, there are enough new houses outside the Green Belt already in the plan, and not a huge amount of new infrastructure needed.

We're also against plans to cut down eight trees in the local wood to create 12 new car parking spaces. Chopping down trees is a terrible idea. Having cars parked in the woodland – which should be protected because it is Green Belt -  will create an urban feel to this lovely rural area. And anyway, there are plenty of other new car parking spaces included at other sites within the Masterplan so there’s no need for these.

Overall, we are glad that there’s an attempt to develop a co-ordinated masterplan for the village, rather than a series of piecemeal applications. However, we really do think that it could be better. In particular we’d like to see a bit more clarity about how houses are being designated and allocated as affordable and for local people.

We also want the plans to deliver Code 4 for Sustainable Homes under the Government’s design standards and include renewable energy technologies in line with Barnsley Council’s recently approved planning policies.