PROTESTERS against the Hoyland masterplans believe that Barnsley Council’s pledge for a ten per cent net gain in biodiversity are ‘nonsense’.

Council bosses last week stated that green space taken up by a controversial industrial development will be recovered.

Hoyland is the location of three masterplan frameworks most notably Hoyland West, which comprises 121 acres of employment land, to be the site of delivery firm Hermes’ new distribution hub and six acres of residential land.

This has sparked outrage among its residents who feel that their greenspace is being ‘destroyed’ – and many feel that they weren’t properly consulted with.

However, the council’s plans last week revealed that work is now underway to to preserve native woodland, green corridors and wildlife.

The plans show that seven acres acres will be developed off-site for habitat creation – in two areas, to the south of the site and to the south-east of Darfield near the River Dearne.

But protesters like 31-year-old Mark Goodison, who created a petition against the developments which garnered thousands of signatures, believe that residents will still be waiting for the development in five years time.

He told the Chronicle: “The council are saying that they’re going to plant hedgerows and a wildflower meadow but there was already hedgerows there before they were removed.

“The council reports say that they’re young hedgerows but you speak to people around Hoyland who remember their father’s helping plant them after it changed from the pit.

“Everything they’re saying is nonsense in my opinion and it’s really irritating.

“I just think that this is a way to get people’s perception to change – in five years time I reckon that we’ll still be asking when this is going to happen but we’ll get the old chestnut that there’s no funding left.”

Mark pointed towards the current consultation with Elsecar residents regarding the heritage centre railway as how the council should have gone about the masterplans, and he insists that the council have ‘failed’ residents.

“I feel that the Hoyland masterplans went undiscovered for so long as they didn’t consult properly with the people of Hoyland,” added Mark of Stead Lane.

“Barnsley Council should have done the same as the Elsecar Heritage Railway consultation and sent everyone the planning application – but they didn’t and so they’ve failed on every level of the Hoyland masterplan frameworks.

“I don’t think that Barnsley is going to be able to cope with this level of development – we’re going to have no green space left.”

Coun Robert Frost, cabinet support member for place, said: “The sites in the Hoyland Masterplan required major redevelopment to support jobs creation in the area, and we know this has an impact on the landscape during the first phases.

“In terms of replanting, this is a huge investment with hundreds of trees, hedgerows and wildflowers included.

“This was a key focus of the masterplan framework – making sure we could work with developers to provide woodlands and landscapes that would be re-established and thrive in the future.

“We know this is a long-term process, and plans will be carefully monitored, working with experts to create and support biodiversity across all sites.”