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Council Plans To Kick Start Economy

Thursday January 24 2013


Barnsley's Green Belt Barnsley's Green Belt


BARNSLEY Council is set to bring in radical new plans to bring jobs to the borough.

It's been said that unemployment in Barnsley is almost double the national average for 18-24 year olds, and that the area needs 25,000 new jobs just to reach the Yorkshire and Humber average.

However, it's thought that the town could be losing out when it comes to new investment. The biggest plot currently available in Barnsley is dwarfed by a huge site in Rotherham that was recently bought by Rolls Royce - which is set to create hundreds of new jobs for local people.

A key thing that's been identified is the lack of development potential, as over 75% of the borough is classed as Green Belt.

Members of the council will hear that, in order to provide the large sites that land-hungry businesses need for their factories and other facilities, some of this might have to be made available to big investors.

The final decision on which sites will be chosen is going to be taken by the council later in the year.

What are your thoughts on this, WABers? We think it's a tricky one. Have your say below. 

26 Showing 26 comments

Reply Posted by diane on Thursday January 24 2013 at 10:38
As an interloper, I think Barnsley's charm and attraction are the green fields and smaller industry. Brownfield sites should always go first before releasing green belt land - anywhere - and green belt land here probably has faults beneath it.

Why not improve public transport instead so that residents can get to the larger towns for work? Put the railways back that were removed and increase bus services and travel pass coverage.

Rotherham and Sheffield aren't that far, and nor is West Yorkshire. We just need more bus and rail direct connections.

Reply Posted by Rob Sykes on Thursday January 24 2013 at 10:40
Go for it BMBC some of us grew up seeing pit headgear on every landscape but at least our Dad's had a job to go to everyday ...

Reply Posted by paul heeley on Thursday January 24 2013 at 10:52
The council want to fill the vast amounts of empty giant warehouses around the area first,Like the big white shed off the dearne valley parkway, You've only got to drive around and see the empty warehousing in the barnsley area what about filling those first ,promote these buildings and the fact that Barnsley has the M1 running straight through it,Besides its should be about helping small to medium business ,There's not many small workshop sized buildings being built to get new business's started that only need about 2000/3000sq feet not 20,000 to 30,000 there just too big,and it's these new small business and entrepreneurs that could turn out to be the next big thing,

Reply Posted by Rob Sykes on Thursday January 24 2013 at 11:00
The giant warehouses were'nt built by the council or owned by them so why should they fill them and as far as i know the one on Dearne Valley Parkway is now occupied ...

Reply Posted by paul heeley on Thursday January 24 2013 at 11:12
Because rob it's in the interest of the council and the local economy to fill these buildings first before alowing the building of new estates ,And has for the giant white shed its empty and has been since it was built the massive sign on it says for sale or rent.Just drive around and count how many are unoccupied.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Thursday January 24 2013 at 12:11
The large unit alongside the DVP has recently been taken by a firm from Leeds manufacturing windows for caravans etc. It may say for sale on the side of the building but it has been taken. There is a partnership approach required by the land owners, the Council and Central Government to get Barnsleys economy back to where it should be but I don't think we'll get any help from Central Government any time soon.

Reply Posted by Rob Sykes on Thursday January 24 2013 at 11:21
I'm obviously wasting my time!

Reply Posted by diane on Thursday January 24 2013 at 12:07
The council gave permission for the white elephants to be built in the first place. They should make sure they're being put to the correct use or enforce otherwise. Fill the empty sites first before spending money building new ones.

This app is far too tiny and it won't let me zoom in. Apols for typos.

Reply Posted by diane on Thursday January 24 2013 at 12:08
They're citing jobs for 18 - 24 year olds, kids just out of school, college and uni who are struggling to find work anywhere. Being able to get to Sheffield or Pontefract would start them out in life. Even for local jobs there are no direct buses.
One example, I'm in Houghton and Hemsworth is at the other end of a road, yet there is no direct bus, which would take 10 minutes max. Instead we have to catch a bus to somewhere else first, adding extra time to the journey, and then waiting for connections in between. There is loads of work at Manvers, which is just behind us. Yet there is no direct bus that would take just 10 minutes. We can't get to Wath or Wombwell or Dodworth or Penistone or loads of other places in under an hour. Because there aren't enough direct buses. So these so called local jobs are going to workers outside the borough who can afford to run cars.
If they developed our old pit (surely a brownfield site) into something, we'd all be able to walk to work again. Giant supermarkets are killing the High Street and the town centre. These are things that would be cheaper to consider first. Instead of granting, say, Tesco another store in Hoyland (which is also more than one bus away) so long as they build a pretty footpath, why not insist Tesco develop a local High Street instead that already has people living within walking distance or on direct routes - bringing employment closer AND saving the High Street. The individual shops (or departments) are already there.
There are loads of ways to consider first before tearing up the landscape and widening commuting distance anyway - and building giant car parks for commuters travelling in.

Reply Posted by blue ber on Thursday January 24 2013 at 20:40
well said fully agree public transport is dreadful

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday January 24 2013 at 12:09
The massive white shed has just recently been taken on by a company from leeds who are moving to barnsley. Some staff are already in there and others to follow shortly.

Reply Posted by paul heeley on Thursday January 24 2013 at 13:21
Nice to hear that the shed has now got some business in it,But its taken what 6 years to fill it,Companies like that that can take on premises that big are welcome in barnsley,But it's not just about building new estates to boost the economy its the business package that the council come up with to lure them into the area,Its all right building the massive structures but its the rates ,rent and other charges that put potential companies off,If you want to give people jobs why not build a proper retail park in Barnsley and before you start corton wood is in rotherham and the 1 off old mill lane is just crap.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Thursday January 24 2013 at 13:45
Well Paul, there'll be a lot of Barnsley people employed at Cortonwood, which unless I'm wrong is what the point of the article is about i.e. getting people back into work, but building retail parks is not the answer as we need manufacturing, commerce etc. Retail parks along with town centres will decline as more and more people shop online. Asos at Gt Houghton is a prime example of how retail is going they've just applied for a large extension to their unit based on the success of their online business.

Reply Posted by paul heeley on Thursday January 24 2013 at 15:09
I agree with you this country needs to manufacture more stuff so we can export ,But its not going to happen because our governments through the decades have not protected british manufacturing industries but just let them go to the way side when in times of trouble and let foreign companies take over the markets,You can't find any government funding for manufacturing and any help is pitiful i know i've tried for my company,We our selves are to blame as well by wanting cheap foreign imports clothes ,electricals etc, The Chinese economy is growing at about 4/5% a year while ours is about 1% all because we buy their goods and not British made goods,But like i've said its business rates and taxes set by councils that put prises up on manufactured goods in this country thats why the internet as boomed NO OVERHEAD bills to pay.

Reply Posted by Mick on Thursday January 24 2013 at 15:10
If the council want to boost the economy they should start by withdrawing the objection to the expansion of Cortonwood Retail Park. Although that is probably classed as Rotherham & therefore no business rates income for BMBC at least 50% of employees will be from Barnsley & therefore bring wages into the town.

To say it is a threat to Wombwell is stupid. No big name retailers are going to invest in Wombwell high street. Wombwell is for local small businesses & the market. I suspect the real agenda the council might have is that they'd like to delvelop a retail park at Birdwell just 5 minutes away up the parkway.

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Thursday January 24 2013 at 21:05
Barnsleys objection may in part be to protect Wombwell and to a lesser degree the town centres retail offer but the road network leading to the Cortonwood is Barnsleys so it's their road that gets congested at peak times, so unless the developer is prepared to offset the increased delays by improving the network, I agree with the Councils objection.

Reply Posted by nigel on Thursday January 24 2013 at 21:29
my main question would be who owns the land they r planning to allow development on as there is more than enough land available for sale without using green belt land .only after all the space which is empty on all the industrial est and brown land should it be considered

Reply Posted by bob on Friday January 25 2013 at 00:23
always wondered how the old barrow pit site escaped development and became green belt while most others have been

Reply Posted by diane on Friday January 25 2013 at 07:55
Also, there is a new generation of young farners emerging in the country who can't afford to buy their own land. Before the pits, Barnsley was farming couintry. Why not encourage these young farmers and help them manage the land? Local produce, local small business, fewer food miles, better quality produce, local employment, better quality of life. Bang.

Reply Posted by R Levitt on Friday January 25 2013 at 09:41
I'm afraid that while ever there are huge fortunes to be made by importing manufactured goods from the far-east the prospect for our young people will remain bleak. When countries like Indonesia, China and India have a huge labour forces who will gladly work for less wages and less workplace rights than is permitted in the EU this situation will just go on. We need fair play for British and EU workers, what are our politicians doing about it ? NOTHING.

Reply Posted by Paula on Friday January 25 2013 at 20:13
There is a lot of green belt land that has been down graded to white belt land in the last few years, so why not start with this and save the green belt land?

Reply Posted by john on Friday January 25 2013 at 20:30
It,s OK selling green belt in the hopes of it creating jobs for people from South Yorkshire, but are the new business,s going to use employment agency,s to recruit the employee,s needed, if this is going to be the case then there will be no jobs for anyone who is from this area as these job,s will be offered to the foreign work force that now seem to be the higher percentage of employed in Barnsley, this is because in my experience the agency employ foreign staff to recruit and put other nationalities forward for the jobs first.

Reply Posted by suzanne on Saturday January 26 2013 at 06:40
There are quite a lot of warehouse space to filk in industrial units at Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe. However without a local development agency actively selling them with tax breaks and incentives. Plus you need active local government who actually care about the town.

Reply Posted by Bully on Saturday January 26 2013 at 08:36
Send all the immigrants back and improve public transport and rail networks to other large nearby towns such as Pontefract for example. There used to be a direct rail link to Pontefract and if you go there on the bus it costs a fortune.

Reply Posted by greenginger on Saturday January 26 2013 at 15:12
It was only a matter of time before some racist suggested sending immigrants home. Barnsley barely has any. I am guessing that foreigners are employed by firms because they accept less pay and have a better attitude and are willing to work and turn up every day.

Reply Posted by Dannyboy on Sunday January 27 2013 at 21:13
Investment in jobs has to be mitigated against the loss of valuable habitat loss, so careful consideration of sites and pre-existing sites should be seen. Barnsley has a plethora of fantastic habitats that most boroughs would be jealous of, unfortunately lots of decision makers are ignorant of the money and jobs this could bring. Transport is very poor for people to access jobs but the town is also a very insular place with many people not even contemplating working out of the boro. Young people don't just need jobs available they need qualifications and a work ethic too, if we continue to have failing schools and this acceptance they failure is the norm due to lack of good role models then employers will not want to hire young people in the first place.

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