Housebuilders undermine regeneration in Doncaster

9th Oct 2014

We all know that Doncaster has lots of brownfield sites that need to be regenerated. One very large example is the former Hatfield colliery site. And Doncaster's planning policies encourage developers to use derelict land north of Hatfield. Developments in this DN7 Regeneration Project area will recycle brownfield sites, be accessible to Hatfield and Stainforth railway station, and road traffic into Doncaster is more likely to use the M18 motorway.

By contrast, there are two planning applications amounting to over 400 houses on greenfield sites south of Hatfield which would fill in the green gap between Doncaster Road and Lings Lane, one of the few remaining pieces of open countryside along the A18 between Hatfield and Doncaster. And it would result in an almost continuous, seven-mile ribbon of suburban sprawl. It would also create thousands more car journeys on the congested A18, damaging people's quality of life all along that route.

There is no need for the scheme: Doncaster does not have a shortage of housing land! But developers are going to great lengths to challenge this and are trying to demonstrate a shortage of land supply.

Developers all across the country are trying to suggest that large, brownfield regeneration schemes don't contribute adequately to land supply because it takes longer to clean the sites and put infrastructure in place. But allowing greenfield developments instead will have disastrous consequences; building drawing local demand for housing away from where regeneration is needed.

The immediate problem is that, although the Doncaster Road/Lings Lane sites are technically in the countryside and the Council would clearly prefer not to see them used for housing, if the developers can successfully argue that Doncaster has less than five year's supply of housing land, then the Council's preferences may count for very little. CPRE's national research shows that developers are using this loophole to bypass local democracy and secure planning permission for large developments.

We ask objectors and YOU to urge Doncaster to stand firm in their position that, regardless of the question of land supply, it would be very unsustainable to allow new housing development to drift away from an important regeneration site and towards valued countryside.