RESIDENTS have urged Barnsley Council’s planning bosses to listen to concerns after outline planning permission was granted for a potential 107-home development near an ‘accident blackspot’.
Workers are carrying out groundworks at the site on Low Valley Farm, off Pitt Street in Darfield – just two weeks after initial consent was granted to applicant Hartwood Estates.
However, locals have vowed to oppose the plan – which still requires full planning permission – as they believe it will exacerbate existing traffic issues on Pitt Street.
Resident Nicola Firth said: “It is with utter disbelief that I have driven past this site and seen that works have started.
“I live in the village and like many others assumed that there was no way that planning would be granted because of the issues with regards to access on an already heavily congested road.
“I am not sure what time of day or night officers came to look at Pitt Street, but in all the years that I have lived here I have never witnessed a ‘low level of on-street parking’ at this location.
“People are now taking bets on when the first road traffic collision will take place and whether or not that will involve a pedestrian, highly likely to be a child, with the proximity of the local schools.
“It would appear the decision has already been made as the diggers have moved in, but I would like to think that some consideration might still be given to the risk to life before it’s too late.”
Tempers flared when the long-running bid – which first came to light in September 2019 – was ‘pushed through’ earlier this month and workers arrived at the site despite not submitting an application for full planning consent, which is required before the estate can commence.
However, residents remain concerned that the outline consent is a ‘clear sign’ of the council’s support, despite a traffic survey concluding that vehicles may ‘significantly exceed the speed limit’ on the road.
The report added: “The historical accident data close to the site indicates a cluster of accidents occurred in the five-year period between 2013 and 2017, a number of which resulted in serious injury and more than half of which involved children being struck by vehicles.
“Data submitted to the audit team suggests that the mean of the 85 per cent of vehicles surveyed was between 36mph and 37mph.
“While the general design of the access junction layout appears to be broadly consistent with design guidance set out, this suggest that some vehicles may significantly exceed the speed limit.
“The cluster of accidents may support this. If drivers leaving the access do not see approaching vehicles, then they may pull out into live traffic, resulting in a side-on collision.
“It is recommended either that the scheme is designed with parameters appropriate to a higher speed limit, or that measures are implemented to ensure that the speed of vehicles passing the access is such that the design operates safely.”