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Fast food store closed for refurbishment

A FAST food restaurant has closed for refurbishment.

 

 McDonald’s at Wentworth Business Park, Tankersley, closed on Sunday to allow building works and second drive-thru lane to be installed. 

 

The store will reopen on December 10 at 11am.

Changes planned to bridge

THE design of Barnsley town centre’s landmark new bridge will be changed as part of a raft of alterations which are due to be approved next week.

 

Market Bridge, which is being funded by both Barnsley Council and Network Rail at a cost of £5.6m, will take people from the new Market Gate car park over the railway line to the pedestrian area in front of the transport interchange’s main entrance.

 

Changes – which will be decided on by planning board members on Tuesday – include increasing the bridge’s glass parapet height from 1.2m to 1.4m, a cable support structure to connect the bridge’s pylons and an elevated pylon base.

 

The original plan to use an inclined lift has been shelved due to budget constraints, and in its place will be a vertical version which will use two 26-person lifts capable of taking bicycles, wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters.

 

A planning report said: “The bridge structure would be approximately 105m long when taking into account the steps and lifts with the deck itself being just over 60m in length.

 

“There would be the option of accessing the bridge deck via stairs or a vertical lift that would be fully enclosed. Its width varies from a maximum of 8.8m at the bottom of the steps to 5m along the deck.

 

“The pylon structure would serve to identify the bridge as a local landmark. The pylon is proposed to be 36m tall above the existing ground level, which would make the bridge the tallest structure in this part of the town centre, including the new buildings that are to be built as part of the Glass Works development, where it would be 8m higher than the new cinema.”

 

The plans also addressed worries regarding the temporary bridge and the number of users during busy events.

 

It has had to close before and after Barnsley FC home matches as it cannot safely accommodate the number of people needing to use it, with a diversion via Eldon Street North in place.

 

Sarah McHale, the town centre major projects officer, added: “The design has not changed drastically, but on the old design the sides of the bridge were about the height of a person.

 

“To enable cycling, we had to raise them higher. We’ve done a lot of work to make sure that people can see their route over the bridge.

 

“Things have been calculated to ensure that the bridge can take the capacity of people on the busiest football match days for example.”

 

Market Bridge is expected to be completed by late 2021.

Starbucks decision is brewing again

A BID to create a new Starbucks which was rejected by Barnsley Council will now be decided on by the Planning Inspectorate.

 

The Peel Centre’s owners made the initial application after striking an agreement with Starbucks to build a new facility on its retail park off Harborough Hill Road, near the town centre, which would have been the only food and drink outlet on the site after Pizza Hut closed last week.

 

However, planning bosses at the council rejected the application on the grounds that the development ‘comprises a town centre use in an out-of-centre location’.

 

It was announced in a report this week that the appeal against the decision has been allowed, and the Planning Inspectorate will now decide its fate.

Town's Pizza Hut branch taken away

BARNSLEY’S nearest Pizza Hut will be more than six miles away after the closure of its site on the edge of the town centre due to a lack of ‘consumer demand’.

 

The restaurant off Harborough Hill Road closed this week – leaving the retail park without an eatery, after an application for a drive-through Starbucks was rejected in June.

 

A spokesman for Pizza Hut said: “We continually evaluate the location of our restaurants to ensure they are in the best possible areas to meet consumer demand and have decided to close our restaurant unit on Harborough Hill Road. 

 

“We have our more modern and popular restaurant only six miles away in Cortonwood and will still have a strong presence in the area and we are confident our customers will continue to visit us.”

 

The application for the Starbucks, which was rejected on the grounds that the development comprised a ‘town centre use... in an out of centre location’, is currently under appeal.

£3.5 million to go on improvements to casualty unit

A MULTI-MILLION pound transformation of Barnsley Hospital’s emergency department is expected to ramp up later this month as part of a raft of changes announced by its ruling trust.

The work, which will create a new look to the hospital on its Gawber Road side, will cost £3.5m and is expected to last for up to two years before it’s completed in spring 2021.

A co-located children’s emergency department and child assessment unit will provide an ‘improved patient experience’ and enable the hospital to free up its capacity – a 50 per cent increase in major bays – to treat adults in the current emergency department.

There will also be a new ambulance entrance and associated engineering works for traffic management due to the placement of the new building on the front of the current emergency department.

Associate director for estates and facilities, Rob McCubbin, thanked patients and visitors for their patience ahead of the work, which has already seen workers arrive at the site.

He said: “We’re working hard to minimise disruption for visitors during these works and ask people to check our website for the latest updates about car parking.”

The main entrance to the emergency department remains open, and there is access for dropping people off in cars or taxis, but from the middle of November arrangements for patient drop-offs to the emergency department will be improved, with more space for cars and smoother flow of traffic.

Work is necessary, according to a hospital report, to reduce the number of patients being admitted for a stay when they could be treated with less disruption in the child assessment unit (CAU).

Currently, Barnsley has a children’s assessment unit and ward area which is separate to the children’s emergency department, but the new plans will see staff caring for children in two areas of the hospital instead of three, meaning more time can be spent with patients and less time walking between departments for both patients and staff.

The report added: “The service’s opening hours will increase from a 12-hour pattern from Monday to Friday to a 24-hour, seven-day service, reducing potentially avoidable ward admissions when a CAU service was not operating.

“Patients will also be treated in the vicinity of the emergency department for both their initial and pathway care without the need for a disruptive transfer to the paediatric ward unless it is absolutely necessary.

“The new scheme is aligned with regional and national ambitions to future-proof local hospital services.”

The existing emergency department was designed to cope with about 150 patients a day, but has had to cope with up to double that in recent months before the plans were announced.

Ben Brewis, Barnsley Hospital’s deputy director of operations, added: “Regionally, 85 per cent of children stay in hospital for less than 48 hours with many needing less than a 24-hour stay.

“These children are often admitted to an inpatient paediatric unit, however a significant number of them might most appropriately be seen in a CAU or short-stay unit.

“Bringing together the children’s emergency department and children’s assessment unit into a co-located integrated model will deliver a better patient experience for children and families accessing urgent care.

“It will also improve privacy and dignity for emergency department patients and allow our teams to work together more closely.”

Aldi set to open in new year

ROYSTON’S long-awaited Aldi store will open in February next year, it has been announced.

The store – which will create up to 50 jobs when it opens – is being built on High Street.

The date was announced this week, despite the German retailer submitting plans recently to alter the site’s layout which is currently the subject of a consultation phase.

Coun Caroline Makinson said: “People are eager to see this in the village as it will bring more jobs and more choice for shoppers. It received a lot of support in the consultation so I’m happy it’s on its way.

“It will also mean a vacant site will be brought back into use – that’s always a positive thing.”

Former school site to be developed

A RETAIL unit will be built on the former Goldthorpe Primary School site after planning permission was awarded this week.

The High Street site, which has been derelict since the school’s demolition in 2016, lies within Goldthorpe’s centre and was originally earmarked for five smaller retail units – a scheme which was dropped in favour of one 15,000sq ft store.

Barnsley Council’s planning board met on Tuesday to discuss the proposals, which will result in Home Bargains occupying the unit and a 116-space car park being created.

Senior planning officer Andrew Burton said: “This plan would bring a currently vacant site back into use and secure a national retailer as an anchor store for the centre.

“The additional car parking with a maximum stay time of two hours would encourage linked trips enhancing Goldthorpe’s vitality and viability.”

The board said up to nine electric vehicle charging points, with four initially and five more to follow, will also be included at the site.

Coun David Greenhough added: “It’s an opportunity to develop the site and open up employment, so I see it as a win-win. I don’t see any downsides to this and it’ll encourage people to go into Goldthorpe.”

Consultation deadline on green belt

A PUBLIC consultation on controversial plans to develop a large swathe of green belt land bordered by Pogmoor, Higham, Gawber and Barugh Green will come to an end later this week.

The site - known as Barnsley West MU1 - is currently open fields but 1,700 homes, a new primary school and employment land with a link road connecting it to the M1 could be built on it in the future.

A community consultation on the MU1 masterplan began last month, which included two drop-in sessions in Barugh Green and Gawber, while the deadline for submitting online responses is 5pm today.

A statement from Barnsley Council said: “The consultation exhibition events have been well-attended and we are pleased with the level of engagement from local residents so far.

“All feedback received will help inform the content of the masterplan framework document and there is still time for residents to have their say.

“The consultation closes on Thursday and anyone wishing to complete the questionnaire can do so.”

The 122-hectare development has been met with strong opposition since the proposals were first announced as part of the town’s local plan, which sets out a blueprint for new housing and employment sites until 2033 and was formally adopted in January.

Council leader Sir Steve

Houghton added: “If we don’t decide how we want the site to look we’ll be at the behest of developers - if nothing is in place they can submit their own proposals for it.

“Residents can help shape it the best we can and it’s been important we sought engagement. Although it’s different from the local plan’s consultation which came before, we need the right type of development on this site. ”

It won’t be easy given the public’s concerns but it’s vitally important residents have their say.

“I appreciate the fact that there’s been a lot of public opposition to the site but it’s been approved for development purposes in the local plan and so that part of the debate has ended.

“MU1 is the largest masterplan area proposed in Barnsley from the local plan so what is important now is to get as many comments on it as we possibly can, so residents can help shape the site’s future.”

* Visit barnsleywest.co.uk to have your say.

Plan is formalised

A RETROSPECTIVE planning application has been submitted for the new restaurant and bar adjoining the new town centre library - almost four months after it opened.

Falco Lounge was built alongside the Library @ the Lightbox, opening at the end of May ahead of the opening of the library.

Falco Lounge was built with planning permission for ‘ancillary café associated with the new library’ but the new application seeks to formally change that to a separated restaurant/café, formally recognised as ‘A3’ use - which allows for the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises.

However the council said the application seeks to formalise existing ‘ancillary uses’, meaning that Lounges does already have planning permission for its current use, with the A3 consent being ‘a formality’.

New homes given the go-ahead

A DEVELOPMENT of 49 homes is set to be built in Thurnscoe after plans were approved by the council’s planning board.

The site, on Brunswick Street, was allocated in the local plan for development and will consist entirely of affordable housing.

Initially for 60 properties, the application – approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the planning regulatory board – consists of 23 two-bed houses, 13 three-bed houses, four four-bed houses and nine two-bed bungalows.

A contribution of £81,093.35 is required to be handed over by the developer as part of a section 106 agreement for off-site green space provision, while £144,000 will be provided for education provision.

Conversion set for go-ahead

PLANS to transform a former town hall into a 21-apartment complex are set to be approved at next week’s meeting of the council’s planning regulatory board.

Hoyland Town Hall was the town council’s administrative hub until it was disbanded in 1974, and since then the High Street building has been used for a number of office functions.

Plans were handed to Barnsley Council’s planning department in June to convert its first and second-floor office spaces into 21 apartments with a mix of studio, one-bed and two-bed dwellings.

And a report issued to the planning board ahead of its meeting on Tuesday recommends that the plans be approved – subject to a section 106 agreement from the developers.

The work ties into wider regeneration of Hoyland’s town centre which has seen its market moved, a new car park created and additional shops opening.

A previous application for the building to be turned into apartments was refused in 2017, and while this was sent to appeal an inspector ruled in favour of the council.

The new application reduces the number of apartments from the initially slated 27, after issues were raised over room sizes, levels of light and privacy for occupants.

Relief road will carve into green belt

A CONTROVERSIAL scheme to develop a major tract of Barnsley’s green belt will reduce congestion thanks to a new relief road which is included in the fiercely contested plan, according to a councillor.

Coun Sharon Howard, who represents the Darton West ward, told cabinet members that the relief road which is included in the Barnsley West MU1 masterplan will ‘bring a solution’ to Higham Common Road’s congestion.

The site is bordered by Pogmoor, Higham, Gawber and Barugh Green and is currently open fields but 1,700 new homes, a new primary school and employment land with a link road connecting it to the M1 could be built on it in the future.

“Hopefully the road will divert traffic away from Higham Common Road as it’s really narrow - highways officers will be working on this over and above what they normally would do,” she added.

“The relief road will bring a solution to that area and while the message to residents is that the local plan’s already been agreed, it’s important they have their say on what goes on this site.

"I encourage everyone to do exactly that through the consultation process. Two more will be set up specifically for Redbrook’s TARA (tenants’ and residents’ association) which is close-by and Keep It Green 2014.”

However, former Barnsley Central MP and Pogmoor resident Eric Illsley, a member of campaign group Keep It Green 2014, refuted Coun Howard’s claim.

He added: “The housing estate is effectively a new village - how can the prospect of having up to 5,000 residents in that area possibly reduce congestion?

“Add the HGV traffic associated with the warehouses which have also been allocated to be built on the site and most people will see that a relief road will not do anything for surrounding villages’ traffic concerns.”

A community consultation on the MU1 masterplan started yesterday and will run until October 24, with two drop-in sessions which will be held on September 23 at Barugh Green Private Members’ Club and St Thomas Community Centre, Gawber, on October 10, both from 3pm until 7pm.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “MU1 is the largest masterplan area proposed in Barnsley from the local plan and it’s important we consider the impact of the potential development through this framework.

"The consultation will provide nearby residents, businesses and community groups with the opportunity to shape the future of the site.

"I encourage anyone with an interest in the area to complete the online consultation or attend one of the drop-in events.

“Your views are important to us, and all feedback will be analysed to inform the final masterplanning framework.”

Visit barnsleywest.co.uk to have your say online.

Plans for new £4m fire station are released

A FINAL design of what Barnsley’s new long-awaited £4m fire station will look like was revealed this week.

Members of the South Yorkshire Fire Authority will meet at Barnsley Town Hall on Monday to discuss the next stages of the project, which has already been allocated a start date of December and a scheduled completion of October 2020.

The existing building, on Broadway, Kingstone, forms part of a long-term plan for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) to make substantial investments in ‘future-proofing’ the brigade.

Having reached the end of its operational life, the building was subject to an assessment before Christmas last year which looked at all options, including a multi-million pound refurbishment which was not deemed viable.

According to a report, one appliance will be temporarily relocated at Cudworth station while the new facility – which will cost £4m – is built.

It said: “Further design work and consultation with stakeholders has been undertaken and the final design was approved on September 2.

“Immediately following this, planning permission for the development was applied for with Barnsley Council. It is expected that a decision will be made within eight weeks.

“Alongside this, negotiations have been ongoing with a local landlord with regard to temporary accommodation to supplement the move of one of the appliances at Barnsley to Cudworth.

“Next steps include the early tendering of the build contract and also finalisation of the designs for the multi-use community building at the site.”

Longer lifespan for wind turbine?

PLANNING permission which allowed a wind turbine to be erected on green belt land for a 25-year period could be extended to 40 years under a fresh application.

Run by Four Winds Energy Co-operative, the 500kW turbine has been generating renewable electricity since 2015 from Ferrymoor Lane, which is near Cudworth, Grimethorpe and Great Houghton.

While usual structures are around 125m high to its blade tip, this one stands at just 77m after locals called for a smaller turbine, in order to reduce its visual impact, through the public consultation process.

Under the planning conditions imposed under the terms of the original application, which was approved in January 2014, the turbine would have been due to be dismantled in 2040.

According to the fresh plans now submitted to Barnsley Council, the firm is looking to expand this lifespan up to 2055.

Comments on the application can be made on the council’s website until Wednesday.

Planning permission submitted for a spa

A CAR showroom could be converted into a health spa if an application to officially change its use is accepted by the council.

Planning permission has been requested for the showroom at the Lowerdale Autos site in Worsbrough Dale, which would involve the showroom being repurposed as a health spa.

According to documents submitted to the council, it would employ two people– the same as the current business.

The site has parking for 15 vehicles, a figure that would remain unchanged. Access to and from the premises onto Station Road outside would also be kept.

Twenty neighbours have been contacted about the application, which has been made by Beadley Mellor.

Barnsley Council’s own highways department and pollution control staff will be consulted about the application before a decision is made and councillors representing the Worsbrough ward will be consulted.

The business was established in 1988 and has two outlets locally.

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Plan for 1,700 new homes

A FIERCELY contested scheme which will see large-scale development built on a vast swathe of green belt despite widespread opposition is set to go out to public consultation.

Barnsley Council wants to use part of the green belt for a site known as ‘Barnsley West MU1’ - bordered by Pogmoor, Higham, Gawber and Barugh Green - for 1,700 homes, a new primary school to cope with the increased demand and employment land with a link road connecting it to the M1.

The development has been met with strong opposition since the proposals were first announced as part of the town’s local plan, which sets out a blueprint for new housing and employment sites until 2033 and was formally adopted in January.

The 122-hectare site - enclosed by built-up areas on three sides with the M1 on its remaining border - will be discussed by the council’s ruling cabinet members tomorrow, where approval for a public consultation, which could take place as soon as next month, is expected to be given.

Does Barnsley need more new homes?

Petition over controversial car park set to fail

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new car park in Darton are expected to be approved this week – despite a residents’ petition urging Barnsley Council to axe its plan.

The scheme, at Darton Park on Church Street, could provide 33 spaces and has been earmarked for approval at last Tuesday’s planning board meeting.

Objections relate to an increase in traffic, loss of trees and access, which has resulted in 29 people signing a petition against the proposals.

A report said: “It is proposed to create a car park to service Darton Park. The car park is rectangular in shape and would provide 33 spaces along with circulation areas.

“It would be hard-surfaced in tarmac to highway specifications with drainage provided as required. In addition the access road surface would be improved with appropriate road markings to allow for pedestrian access.

“With regards to the need for the car park, it is one of 24 key parks within the Barnsley borough and is therefore a priority for improvement.

“The car park is necessary to maximise access to facilities in the park for older people, disabled people and families. This has been identified through the consultation process which included local residents, businesses and ward members.”

Campaigners argue the plan, on land earmarked as green belt, also encourages car use which has a knock-on effect on Darton’s air quality and ‘is in conflict’ with the council’s policy to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce obesity.

The report added: “The use of the car park is expected to be linked directly to the park and as such is likely to be mostly during daylight hours. In this respect noise disturbance is also not anticipated to have a significant impact.

“The potential for antisocial behaviour in this location exists already, but the proposed includes new lighting to ensure maximum visibility.”

Residents’ snub as parking limit plan is rejected

PROPOSED restrictions to prevent inconsiderate parking near Barnsley Hospital have been rejected – despite a residents’ petition urging the council to act before there’s a serious accident.

St Owen’s Drive, St Catherine’s Way and Pogmoor Road residents submitted their 58-signature document last month and it will be acknowledged by councillors at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

Issues surrounding the hospital and nearby residential areas came under the spotlight again at a recent crime meeting at which Coun Phil Lofts, who represents the Old Town ward, appealed to both the council and police to finally act on ‘years’ of residents’ complaints.

Other areas including Summer Lane, Queen’s Avenue, Bingley Street, Brierfield Close, Victoria Crescent and Welbeck Street have all been identified as particular flare-up points where it’s alleged both hospital staff and visitors have left their vehicles to avoid parking fees.

The district’s ward alliance – a body made up of councillors and others involved in the community – has awarded funding to have bollards installed on grass verges on some residential streets, which had been used for parking by those attending the hospital.

However, the petition has failed to achieve the desired outcome and a council report – which will be discussed at next week’s meeting – will confirm that a traffic regulation order (TRO) has been dismissed.

A report states: “As part of the continued pressure on highway service budgets, the dedicated budget for completing TROs that could introduce parking restrictions, yellow lines and point closures has been reduced to zero.

"The only money available for traffic measures is the road safety budget and this is targeted to sites on a priority basis.

“The method used to ascertain the priority sites is by using personal injury collision (PIC) data obtained by South Yorkshire Police.

“The council receives an allocation of funding from the Department for Transport, via the Sheffield City Region, to carry out remedial measures and improvements at locations where there is a history of PIC collisions.

“The authority has a statutory duty to monitor all PICs and each year officers interrogate the database to determine the list of priority locations which require intervention first. Following this, officers then seek to resolve issues at these locations using the available funding received.

“Thankfully, no PIC collisions have been recorded during the last ten years on St Owen’s Drive or on St Catherine’s Way. Consequently, this location has not been added to the list of locations requiring intervention.

“As a result, it does not meet the criteria for the provision of parking restrictions.”

Champagne bar plans drawn up

PLANS have also been submitted to create a champagne bar in Barnsley town centre.

Planners are being asked to consider a change of use for the vacant ice cream shop previously known as Treat, on Market Hill, to create a bar covering the ground floor and basement levels of the building.

Planning documents state it will serve drinks and snacks and provide entertainment in a ‘high end/upmarket establishment’.

The change would involve alterations to the shop front and, because it affects the setting of a listed building in a conservation area, planning permission is needed.

The building previously formed part of the high-end fashion retailer Pollyanna.

Demolition of former hospital begins

DEMOLITION is underway on a former hospital building to make way for a development of apartments.

The building, once part of the old Beckett Hospital in the town centre, was more recently used as council offices following the building of Barnsley Hospital in the 1970s.

A part of the old hospital building, on Berneslai Close, is being demolished with the remaining structure being converted resulting in a total number of 58 apartments designed for retired people.

McCarthy and Stones Ltd was given planning permission for the development earlier this year.

The development will have four storeys and will be separate from the retained Edwardian hospital building, with most of the work on the older building being internal.

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