A TOTAL of 90 houses could be built on Rabbit Ings Country Park - to meet future housing needs.

The popular nature reserve has been deemed suitable as part of Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment - a research document put together by consultants on behalf of Barnsley Council.

It identifies sites throughout the borough to provide housing up to 2027.

According to the report, Royston coking works is opposite the site and the land is detached from existing shops and services.

It's 'unlikely to be particularly attractive to the market, and likely to be appropriate for development only in the longer term', the report says.

Rabbit Ings is marked as having 'poor achievability' and cannot be used in the first ten years, the report adds.

Cllr Tim Cheetham said he understood how Rabbit Ings had been chosen as a housing site, as it technically had brown field status.

But he said it was 'wholly unsuitable', the topography was 'lousy' and would stand against development if it came to it.

"They've got to look at every scrap of land," he said. "It just couldn't proceed as we have made substantial investment to return it to green land."