NEWSLETTER 8 MAY 15 2014

Newsletter 8
Keep It Green 2014
Newsletter 8# – 15 May 2014
This is a further update following receipt of the FOIA (freedom of information acts)  responses and the meeting with
BMBC on 4 April 2014.
Bullet Points
♦ The only thing that is clear is that detailed discussions are ongoing about
developing the land both north and south of Hermit Lane. BMBC insist that this is at
the instigation of the developer (Strata) and at his risk, but they are clearly heavily
involved.
♦ BMBC were non-committal on the proposed link road/bypass (see the plan
enclosed), ie, on whether:
◦ The original proposal is being adjusted to suit the development proposed;
◦ There is a programme, but which we estimate may be as follows:
▪ Tender and procurement – late Spring 2016;
▪ Construction start – Summer 2016.
♦ BMBC say that a commercial developer for sites identified in the 2012 DSAP
consultation (see plan) hasn’t been identified yet.
♦ The housing originally identified in the 2012 DSAP consultation (see plan) is already
subject to planning applications, by developers other than Strata.
♦ So what is all the activity about, as Strata clearly mean business and are looking in
detail at developing both north and south of Hermit Lane?
♦ A big PR campaign is being planned by Strata – for what?
♦ A Green Belt Review is under way by BMBC. The results of the review will almost
certainly not be available before appearing in the Local Plan.
♦ There will be no more information coming out of BMBC before they publish the
Local Plan Consultation in late September of this year.
♦ A cynic might think that this gives BMBC and the developer(s) plenty of time to get
their ducks in a row and present residents with a fait accompli.

FOIA Requests and Meeting with BMBC
We reported on the receipt of BMBC’s responses to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
requests and the subsequent meeting with BMBC in the last newsletter. We had taken a
list of questions to the meeting but, because of BMBC’s other commitments, were unable
to ask present them during the meeting. As a gesture of goodwill, BMBC agreed to
provide written answers if we submitted them in writing, which we did.
Our questions were submitted on 8 April 2014 and BMBC issued their response on 23 April
2014. This response also included answers to an email on the issue of the Green Belt
Review, dated 17 April 2014.
The last newsletter detailed the points discussed in the meeting, including news of a new
consultation on housing and an in-progress Green Belt Review (see below on both).
BMBC’s Response to our Questionnaire
The basis for the list of questions was:
• Responses to two FOIA Requests.
• Unanswered questions in correspondence since the Group was constituted;
FOIA Responses
The documents arising from the FOIA requests comprised:
• Two sets of minutes of meetings (A) hosted by BMBC, with Strata and their agents;
• One set of minutes of a meeting (B) hosted by an agent of Strata, attended by
BMBC, Strata and other agents;
• A bidding document detailing the background to the Sheffield City Region Investment
Fund (SCRIF) application for funds for the link road/bypass between M1 junction 37
and Claycliffe roundabout;
• A plan showing the road layout used for the SCRIF application (mark-up enclosed).
Meetings (A) in answer to the second question, these were described as “the type of
meeting that BMBC officers have with developers/house builders that are planning to
invest in Barnsley. It is also the type of meeting that takes place as the Local Plan is
developed”.
The first question asked what the title of the minuted – “Barnsley West” meant. They said
“The name that the developers have given to the site / location. For clarity this refers to
Barugh Green. ie UB4?” [UB4 is an industrial location identified in the 2012 Development
Sites and Places (DSAP) consultation (map enclosed)]. Note the question mark. This
suggests they are trying to avoid telling fibs.

Whilst there was some discussion of employment land, which is what UB4 covered, the
emphasis seemed to be on housing, not covered by UB4. When asked what references to
“site” meant, they said that “This is the potential employment land UB4 identified in the
Development Sites and Places DPD consultation draft 2012”. If this is so, and noting their
comment (see below) that the commercial site developer has not been identified, why are
Strata interested?
The nearest housing sites identified in DSAP was on BAR32 and BAR42 (map enclosed).
These sites are subject to planning applications already, by people other than Strata, so
cannot be the focus of these meetings.
The only thing that is clear is that detailed discussions are ongoing about developing the
land both north and south of Hermit Lane. BMBC insist that this is at the instigation of the
developer and at his risk.
BMBC were non-committal on the subject of the route of the proposed link road/bypass, ie
whether the original proposal being amended to reflect the interests of Strata, or
how/whether the Green Belt south of Hermit Lane is being considered.
Strata have engaged a number of consultants. The lead appears to be Spawforths, a
consultancy specialising in, among other things, “urban extensions”. Just what we need!
The plan showing housing both sides of Hermit Lane was probably prepared by them for
Strata. BMBC pretended not to know the source, but it looks suspiciously similar to
sample layouts on the Spawforth website (OK, this could be generic software).
It appears Spawforths are preparing an important PR campaign on behalf of Strata, though
no information was forthcoming on details or time scale.
BMBC differentiated between housing and commercial. They say that all their references
to Strata are in connection with housing. The “developer for the employment land“ has not
yet been identified. What does this mean? Is it that another developer is/will be involved,
or that the deal has not been struck with Strata yet? There is strong suspicion that Strata
are prepared to fund certain elements of infrastructure, including school(s). It is hard to
imagine they would do this if they were not benefiting from full access to the land. Who
else are Spawforths/BMBC talking (if anybody)?
Meeting (B) was stated by BMBC to have been run by Spawforths, BMBC being in
attendance rather than being responsible for the meeting. Because of this, they referred
us to Spawforths for answers to many of the questions.
This meeting was rather more detailed than the previous two. There was mention of a
“Southern Gateway”, including a reference to “offices”, and housing at both ends of the link
road in a phased development. Why are Strata discussing commercial building if all they
are interested in is housing?
BMBC were non-committal on the question of road layout and whether Strata were
prepared to fund any infrastructure.

It is clear that Strata mean business and do not intend to stop at Hermit Lane. A lot of
work is going on, with a detailed communication plan being prepared. BMBC have said
that they will not provide any further information prior to release of the Local Plan.
The bidding document details the application for funds for the link road/bypass. It included
the very detailed plan noted above. The £11.9m funding applied for covered the link road
and Junction 37 “signalisation”. Part of the justification is the building of approximately 800
properties, which BMBC are those identified as BAR32 and BAR42 on the DSAP plan).
Since these sites are now being developed (by other than Strata), is it fair to assume that
the housing part of the justification for the link road/bypass has been fulfilled?
Part of the rationale for the link road/bypass is a “strategic aspiration … for the
development of 3 new business parks, subject to the Local Plan”. It is believed that one of
these will be at J37, the others being at J36 and Goldthorpe.
The document included a programme, now out of date. Based on the original and the
latest information on the Local Plan, an approximate programme for the bypass (assuming
approved via the Local Plan), is estimated to be as follows:
• Tender and procurement – late Spring 2016;
• Construction start – Summer 2016.
Other questions – basically, BMBC say they are acting legally in responding to, and
cooperating with developers, at the developers’ risk. Their key action is the preparation
and consultation on the Local Plan.
BMBC stated that their calculation of Gross Value Added for the SCRIF application did not
include development of land south of Hermit Lane. If so, any proposals for land take
between Hermit Lane and J37 must be entirely speculative and at risk of being ruled out
by the Local Plan. Of course, if the Local Plan is designed to accommodate this
development …
BMBC would not say anything about the status of the SCRIF application for funding for the
link road/bypass, but it is apparent that detailed design and planning are taking place. The
success in developing sites BAR 32 and BAR42 must help their case for the funding.
The Core Strategy notes that “the planned growth with respect to housing numbers can be
accommodated without the need to encroach into the Green Belt”. In which case, why is it
now deemed necessary to use the Green Belt? BMBC say “The main issue is the change
in the overall aspiration for housing to create a greater mix to include larger houses and
generally to provide houses with larger room sizes. This has an impact on overall density,
which means more land may be required.” Coincidentally, such properties would be more
“attractive to the market”.
We made the point that residents felt that they were being kept in the dark about all these
activities and asked how BMBC intended to ensure that there is adequate publicity for the
Local Plan. They replied that:

“Consultation on the Local Plan will take place in accordance with the Town and Country
Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. The Council will endeavour to
publicise the consultation as widely as possible to make sure engagement is as effective
as it can be. It is impossible for the Council to guarantee that everyone will become aware
of the plan and take the opportunity to comment. As well as advertised in the newspaper
and on the website the consultation will be advertised in articles in the ‘Open Door’
magazine that is delivered to every household. These are just a few examples of how we
will publicise it. For people who don’t have access to a computer copies of the documents
will be available to view in libraries with details on how to comment.”
Of course, we will do our best to ensure maximum coverage as the process develops.
Green Belt Review – at the meeting with BMBC, they advised that a Green Belt Review
was in process, as part of preparation for the Local Plan. We were under the impression
that this would be complete before the Local Plan consultation started, but BMBC have
advised that “the Green Belt review will form part of the evidence base that will support the
emerging Local Plan”. It is possible, though unlikely, that they will consult on the Green
Belt Review separate to the Local Plan. It is their “current thinking [that they] will put the
final report and any associated appendices on the website with the consultation draft of
the Local Plan”.
This process potentially gives them the opportunity to make it easier for developers to
build on what is now Green Belt land, which could help the developers avoid having to
make the “exceptional circumstances” argument, but will still have to stand up to the
scrutiny of the Government Inspector.
Housing Consultation
The web page announcing the BMBC Cabinet meeting on 9 April 2014 included a number
of documents. Basically, a lot of preparation is going into the local Plan. They do not take
us any further forward, but if readers wish to explore for themselves, this is the web page
concerned:
http://edemocracy.barnsley.gov.uk/edemocracy/cabinet-meetings/cabinetmeetings/
2014/2014-04-09
A separate consultation is in progress on the “Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report”,
comments on which have been made but not yet posted. Again, anyone suffering from
insomnia may wish to check it out:
http://consult.barnsley.gov.uk/portal/development/planning/barnsley_sustainability_apprais
al_scoping_report/barnsley_sustainability_appraisal_scoping_report
Basically, there is a lot of work going on and we will not know what this is all about until the
Local Plan Consultation process starts (assuming no planning applications appear in the
meantime).

This is BMBC’s web page for the Local Plan:
https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/environment-and-planning/planning/localdevelopment-
framework-local-plan


What happens next?
• Keep digging;
• Keep monitoring the BMBC website;
• Plan public events to increase awareness.
The new, approximate time scales for BMBC’s preparation of the Local Plan are as
follows:-
• Consultation on the draft document September 2014;
• Consultation on the Publication version Spring 2015;
• Submission Late 2015;
• Examination in Public /Adoption November 2016.
Ian Preddy/15.5.14

 

Newsletter 8
Keep It Green 2014
Newsletter 8# – 15 May 2014
This is a further update following receipt of the FOIA responses and the meeting with
BMBC on 4 April 2014.
Bullet Points
♦ The only thing that is clear is that detailed discussions are ongoing about
developing the land both north and south of Hermit Lane. BMBC insist that this is at
the instigation of the developer (Strata) and at his risk, but they are clearly heavily
involved.
♦ BMBC were non-committal on the proposed link road/bypass (see the plan
enclosed), ie, on whether:
◦ The original proposal is being adjusted to suit the development proposed;
◦ There is a programme, but which we estimate may be as follows:
▪ Tender and procurement – late Spring 2016;
▪ Construction start – Summer 2016.
♦ BMBC say that a commercial developer for sites identified in the 2012 DSAP
consultation (see plan) hasn’t been identified yet.
♦ The housing originally identified in the 2012 DSAP consultation (see plan) is already
subject to planning applications, by developers other than Strata.
♦ So what is all the activity about, as Strata clearly mean business and are looking in
detail at developing both north and south of Hermit Lane?
♦ A big PR campaign is being planned by Strata – for what?
♦ A Green Belt Review is under way by BMBC. The results of the review will almost
certainly not be available before appearing in the Local Plan.
♦ There will be no more information coming out of BMBC before they publish the
Local Plan Consultation in late September of this year.
♦ A cynic might think that this gives BMBC and the developer(s) plenty of time to get
their ducks in a row and present residents with a fait accompli.

FOIA Requests and Meeting with BMBC
We reported on the receipt of BMBC’s responses to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
requests and the subsequent meeting with BMBC in the last newsletter. We had taken a
list of questions to the meeting but, because of BMBC’s other commitments, were unable
to ask present them during the meeting. As a gesture of goodwill, BMBC agreed to
provide written answers if we submitted them in writing, which we did.
Our questions were submitted on 8 April 2014 and BMBC issued their response on 23 April
2014. This response also included answers to an email on the issue of the Green Belt
Review, dated 17 April 2014.
The last newsletter detailed the points discussed in the meeting, including news of a new
consultation on housing and an in-progress Green Belt Review (see below on both).
BMBC’s Response to our Questionnaire
The basis for the list of questions was:
• Responses to two FOIA Requests.
• Unanswered questions in correspondence since the Group was constituted;
FOIA Responses
The documents arising from the FOIA requests comprised:
• Two sets of minutes of meetings (A) hosted by BMBC, with Strata and their agents;
• One set of minutes of a meeting (B) hosted by an agent of Strata, attended by
BMBC, Strata and other agents;
• A bidding document detailing the background to the Sheffield City Region Investment
Fund (SCRIF) application for funds for the link road/bypass between M1 junction 37
and Claycliffe roundabout;
• A plan showing the road layout used for the SCRIF application (mark-up enclosed).
Meetings (A) in answer to the second question, these were described as “the type of
meeting that BMBC officers have with developers/house builders that are planning to
invest in Barnsley. It is also the type of meeting that takes place as the Local Plan is
developed”.
The first question asked what the title of the minuted – “Barnsley West” meant. They said
“The name that the developers have given to the site / location. For clarity this refers to
Barugh Green. ie UB4?” [UB4 is an industrial location identified in the 2012 Development
Sites and Places (DSAP) consultation (map enclosed)]. Note the question mark. This
suggests they are trying to avoid telling fibs.

Whilst there was some discussion of employment land, which is what UB4 covered, the
emphasis seemed to be on housing, not covered by UB4. When asked what references to
“site” meant, they said that “This is the potential employment land UB4 identified in the
Development Sites and Places DPD consultation draft 2012”. If this is so, and noting their
comment (see below) that the commercial site developer has not been identified, why are
Strata interested?
The nearest housing sites identified in DSAP was on BAR32 and BAR42 (map enclosed).
These sites are subject to planning applications already, by people other than Strata, so
cannot be the focus of these meetings.
The only thing that is clear is that detailed discussions are ongoing about developing the
land both north and south of Hermit Lane. BMBC insist that this is at the instigation of the
developer and at his risk.
BMBC were non-committal on the subject of the route of the proposed link road/bypass, ie
whether the original proposal being amended to reflect the interests of Strata, or
how/whether the Green Belt south of Hermit Lane is being considered.
Strata have engaged a number of consultants. The lead appears to be Spawforths, a
consultancy specialising in, among other things, “urban extensions”. Just what we need!
The plan showing housing both sides of Hermit Lane was probably prepared by them for
Strata. BMBC pretended not to know the source, but it looks suspiciously similar to
sample layouts on the Spawforth website (OK, this could be generic software).
It appears Spawforths are preparing an important PR campaign on behalf of Strata, though
no information was forthcoming on details or time scale.
BMBC differentiated between housing and commercial. They say that all their references
to Strata are in connection with housing. The “developer for the employment land“ has not
yet been identified. What does this mean? Is it that another developer is/will be involved,
or that the deal has not been struck with Strata yet? There is strong suspicion that Strata
are prepared to fund certain elements of infrastructure, including school(s). It is hard to
imagine they would do this if they were not benefiting from full access to the land. Who
else are Spawforths/BMBC talking (if anybody)?
Meeting (B) was stated by BMBC to have been run by Spawforths, BMBC being in
attendance rather than being responsible for the meeting. Because of this, they referred
us to Spawforths for answers to many of the questions.
This meeting was rather more detailed than the previous two. There was mention of a
“Southern Gateway”, including a reference to “offices”, and housing at both ends of the link
road in a phased development. Why are Strata discussing commercial building if all they
are interested in is housing?
BMBC were non-committal on the question of road layout and whether Strata were
prepared to fund any infrastructure.

It is clear that Strata mean business and do not intend to stop at Hermit Lane. A lot of
work is going on, with a detailed communication plan being prepared. BMBC have said
that they will not provide any further information prior to release of the Local Plan.
The bidding document details the application for funds for the link road/bypass. It included
the very detailed plan noted above. The £11.9m funding applied for covered the link road
and Junction 37 “signalisation”. Part of the justification is the building of approximately 800
properties, which BMBC are those identified as BAR32 and BAR42 on the DSAP plan).
Since these sites are now being developed (by other than Strata), is it fair to assume that
the housing part of the justification for the link road/bypass has been fulfilled?
Part of the rationale for the link road/bypass is a “strategic aspiration … for the
development of 3 new business parks, subject to the Local Plan”. It is believed that one of
these will be at J37, the others being at J36 and Goldthorpe.
The document included a programme, now out of date. Based on the original and the
latest information on the Local Plan, an approximate programme for the bypass (assuming
approved via the Local Plan), is estimated to be as follows:
• Tender and procurement – late Spring 2016;
• Construction start – Summer 2016.
Other questions – basically, BMBC say they are acting legally in responding to, and
cooperating with developers, at the developers’ risk. Their key action is the preparation
and consultation on the Local Plan.
BMBC stated that their calculation of Gross Value Added for the SCRIF application did not
include development of land south of Hermit Lane. If so, any proposals for land take
between Hermit Lane and J37 must be entirely speculative and at risk of being ruled out
by the Local Plan. Of course, if the Local Plan is designed to accommodate this
development …
BMBC would not say anything about the status of the SCRIF application for funding for the
link road/bypass, but it is apparent that detailed design and planning are taking place. The
success in developing sites BAR 32 and BAR42 must help their case for the funding.
The Core Strategy notes that “the planned growth with respect to housing numbers can be
accommodated without the need to encroach into the Green Belt”. In which case, why is it
now deemed necessary to use the Green Belt? BMBC say “The main issue is the change
in the overall aspiration for housing to create a greater mix to include larger houses and
generally to provide houses with larger room sizes. This has an impact on overall density,
which means more land may be required.” Coincidentally, such properties would be more
“attractive to the market”.
We made the point that residents felt that they were being kept in the dark about all these
activities and asked how BMBC intended to ensure that there is adequate publicity for the
Local Plan. They replied that:

“Consultation on the Local Plan will take place in accordance with the Town and Country
Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. The Council will endeavour to
publicise the consultation as widely as possible to make sure engagement is as effective
as it can be. It is impossible for the Council to guarantee that everyone will become aware
of the plan and take the opportunity to comment. As well as advertised in the newspaper
and on the website the consultation will be advertised in articles in the ‘Open Door’
magazine that is delivered to every household. These are just a few examples of how we
will publicise it. For people who don’t have access to a computer copies of the documents
will be available to view in libraries with details on how to comment.”
Of course, we will do our best to ensure maximum coverage as the process develops.
Green Belt Review – at the meeting with BMBC, they advised that a Green Belt Review
was in process, as part of preparation for the Local Plan. We were under the impression
that this would be complete before the Local Plan consultation started, but BMBC have
advised that “the Green Belt review will form part of the evidence base that will support the
emerging Local Plan”. It is possible, though unlikely, that they will consult on the Green
Belt Review separate to the Local Plan. It is their “current thinking [that they] will put the
final report and any associated appendices on the website with the consultation draft of
the Local Plan”.
This process potentially gives them the opportunity to make it easier for developers to
build on what is now Green Belt land, which could help the developers avoid having to
make the “exceptional circumstances” argument, but will still have to stand up to the
scrutiny of the Government Inspector.
Housing Consultation
The web page announcing the BMBC Cabinet meeting on 9 April 2014 included a number
of documents. Basically, a lot of preparation is going into the local Plan. They do not take
us any further forward, but if readers wish to explore for themselves, this is the web page
concerned:
http://edemocracy.barnsley.gov.uk/edemocracy/cabinet-meetings/cabinetmeetings/
2014/2014-04-09
A separate consultation is in progress on the “Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report”,
comments on which have been made but not yet posted. Again, anyone suffering from
insomnia may wish to check it out:
http://consult.barnsley.gov.uk/portal/development/planning/barnsley_sustainability_apprais
al_scoping_report/barnsley_sustainability_appraisal_scoping_report
Basically, there is a lot of work going on and we will not know what this is all about until the
Local Plan Consultation process starts (assuming no planning applications appear in the
meantime).

This is BMBC’s web page for the Local Plan:
https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/environment-and-planning/planning/localdevelopment-
framework-local-plan
What happens next?
• Keep digging;
• Keep monitoring the BMBC website;
• Plan public events to increase awareness.
The new, approximate time scales for BMBC’s preparation of the Local Plan are as
follows:-
• Consultation on the draft document September 2014;
• Consultation on the Publication version Spring 2015;
• Submission Late 2015;
• Examination in Public /Adoption November 2016.
Ian Preddy/15.5.14

map1 map2 map3

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