WOMBWELL residents have reacted to proposals for what would be the largest housing development in years.

Persimmon Homes has set out plans to build 239 houses on a stretch of land off the White Rose roundabout, between Barnsley Road and the Mitchells Way bypass, which is currently agricultural land used for growing wheat.

The land has been classed as greenbelt and unsuitable for building but, in the council's draft local development framework (LDF) published last year, it was identified as a possible housing site.

Jeff Stuart, 69, of Barnsley Road said: "I'm against the proposals altogether but traffic problems on Barnsley Road concern me most.

"When you're coming up from the White Rose roundabout towards Wombwell, you'd have only just straightened up when you would be hitting the first access road - and vision for anyone coming up the hill out of there is going to be very poor.

"There's going to be an accident. I know it's supposed to be 30 miles per hour on there but people routinely break the limit."

Cllr Dick Wraith said he welcomed more housing in Wombwell but shared residents' concerns about traffic on Barnsley Road.

He said: "It's on the bend and it's not going to be a good access point. It's bad enough at the moment with people parking either side and, if there's a bus coming through, you've to let it get by before you can go through.

"It's very tight and Wombwell members aren't happy with the current proposals."

However he added they were only proposals and Persimon had not yet submitted a planning application to the council.

Other issues which may arise from a housing development of that size include the strain on the area's infrastructure.  

Cllr Wraith said: "It's good for Wombwell to have more houses built but it will put pressure on schools. Netherwood would be able to cope with the extra pupils but primary schools are already full."