Anger over plan to build on park land

Rotherham Council local plan drop-in event at Dinnington Resource Centre G130621-1a
Rotherham Council local plan drop-in event at Dinnington Resource Centre G130621-1a

Leave our recreation land alone. That was the plea from Dinnington folk at a drop-in session organised by council planners.

More than 1,000 new homes could be built across Dinnington, Throapham and Laughton over the next 15 years.

And the plans for where that development might happen went on show at Dinnington Resource Centre last week.

The sites have been drawn up as part of Rotherham’s Local Plan, which is out for public consultation until 29th July.

It will guide future development in the borough, meaning building can only happen in certain places.

But two of the sites earmarked for new houses are on land currently used for recreation.

One is the Miners’ Welfare Recreation Ground off Lodge Lane, which could host 46 homes, and another is a field behind Swinston Hill Road and Birkdale Avenue which has traditionally been used for recreation but could see 243 houses built there.

It is already widely felt across the town that Dinnington desperately needs more recreation land where people can exercise, play and relax.

Dave Smith, vice chairman of the Friends of Dinnington Miners’ Welfare group, was handing round a petition at the drop-in session.

“In the 2011 version of this plan they had the Miners’ Welfare down as recreation land. Now they are wanting to build 46 houses on it,” said Mr Smith.

“One of the council’s own policies says that building should not happen on recreation ground unless it is proven that it is no longer needed by the community.”

“Last year and this year we have had the carnival on the Miners’ Welfare and the Dinno Olympics, and we have lots of other stuff planned to happen over the coming months.”

“This space is quite obviously needed, as there is no other recreation land in Dinnington.”

The Friends group has got a year’s lease on the Miners’ Welfare Ground from current owner CISWO (Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation).

The agreement aims to prove that the land is used by the community and could be managed by the community.

Head of environment and development at Rotherham Council, Karl Battersby, said: “We would look to retain some leisure and recreation provision as part of any development off Birkdale Avenue. There would be a planning requirement to provide some recreation land for a development of that size.”