The proposal to build 1,300 new homes in Dinnington over the next 15 years has moved a step closer.
Richard Hollox, an inspector appointed by the secretary of state for communities and local government, has given the green light to the plans in a recent report.
The document states the Rotherham Publication Core Strategy 2013-2028 provided an appropriate basis for the planning of the Borough as long as a number of modifications are made.
The report says: “A good deal of housing and employment development has taken place on extensive former colliery land, but the town is in urgent need of more regeneration and substantial additional housing development.”
“Although the town is within the green belt, the Core Strategy suitably proposes land to the east of the town as a broad location for growth to account for about 700 dwellings equating to five per cent of the Borough’s total housing requirement.”
It was concluded that the development would have both advantages and disadvantages.
Development to the west of the town, as put forward by Anston Brook, could provide new homes during the planned period as well as new schools, community facilities and shops.
It is suggested that sites to the east of the town, closer to the town centre, would be suitable as long as footpaths are in place, which would encourage more cycling and walking.
Land to the east of the town is further away from the M1 and M18 motorways but this could encourage commuters to drive through the town centre.
Mr Hollox said: “When there is a shortage of deliverable sites, this is a distinct disadvantage.”
“Moreover, it would constitute an excessive and damaging intrusion into the surrounding green belt countryside.”
“For a town of modest size as here, a development of the scale envisaged is beyond the scope of exceptional circumstances.”
Other recommendations included new uses for vacant, under-used or derelict historical buildings and delivering affordable housing.