‘The community is being ignored’

Potential sites for housing, including greenbelt land
Potential sites for housing, including greenbelt land

Members of a protest group fighting to save greenbelt land have called for the public to get behind their cause.

It comes after Dinnington Town Council decided to object to Rotherham Council’s Core Strategy.

The local authority is consulting on the Focused Changes document which takes into account views made following the Core Strategy publication last year.

The council is currently in the middle of the process for publishing the borough’s development blueprint for the future, the Local Plan.

The town council discussed the latest round of consultation at its monthly meeting.

Following the meeting, a town council spokesman said: “Whilst we don’t object to sustainable development, we do and always will object to any development on greenbelt land.”

“The Core Strategy Focused Changes document currently being consulted upon by the borough council confirms that the comments, suggestions and concerns of the community of Dinnington are being ignored.”

“This extremely concerns us, as despite working closely with planning outside of the main consultation through numerous meetings with interested groups and planning officers, there is little evidence of any listening, or acting on feedback which we consider real and honest engagement.”

A spokesman for the Dinnington and Anston Save Our Green Belt group said the public felt like they were not being listened to.

He added: “The Core Strategy online objection process is far to difficult for most people to understand, this leaving the town and ward councillors to sort out the mess.”

“Following the town council taking this brave step, now is the time for the public to give them their full support.”

A spokesman for Rotherham Council said the authority welcomes comments on its Local Plan consultation.

She added: “Although the current consultation is about specific changes to the Core Strategy and does not concern sites, all comments will be forwarded to the independent planning inspector to consider.”

“We have been working closely with interest groups in Dinnington to accommodate, where possible, local views in drafting the plan and we hope this joint working will continue.”

“We intend to consult on individual sites in the spring. This will be a full public consultation on development sites borough-wide with public drop-in sessions in local areas. Dates and venues will be confirmed nearer the time of consultation.”