Carlton masterplan framework

Our Local Plan was adopted on 3 January 2019 and allocated land for the development of two mixed-use sites:

  • MU2 - land between Fish Dam Lane and Carlton Road
  • MU3 - land off Shaw Lane, Carlton

The Carlton masterplan framework was informed by a six-week public consultation exercise and was adopted by Full Council on 25 November 2021.

The masterplan will provide high-quality housing within a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly environment linking to the surrounding outdoor spaces such as Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve, the Trans Pennine Trail and the National Cycle Network.

The masterplan includes the following: 

  • 1500 new homes, a small local shop, and a community garden.
  • proposals for a 210-pupil expansion to Carlton Primary Academy.
  • Wharncliffe Woodmoor will be a key community green space central to the masterplan, with green corridors through the site connecting to Carlton Marsh. 
  • The design team will be working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to identify opportunities to further enhance the biodiversity value of Wharncliffe Woodmoor.
  • The masterplan requires a 10% net gain to biodiversity.
  • The site also provides renewable energy opportunities.

Read the Carlton masterplan framework and design code. (We're aware this document isn't entirely accessible for users of assistive technology. We're working to fix any issues, but in the meantime if you need it in a different format, please contact us.)

Read the Carlton masterplan framework delivery strategy.

Your feedback

A community consultation exercise was held to gather views on the draft Carlton masterplan framework from Wednesday 16 June to Wednesday 28 July 2021 and led to the following key changes:

  • 1500 new homes rather than 2000 initially proposed.
  • Relocated community garden and green space to be closer to the existing community.
  • Full retention and enhancement of Wharncliffe Woodmoor green space, recognising this key community asset.
  • The opportunity for future business expansion.
  • A relocated railway station to better serve existing communities.

Frequently asked questions

What is a masterplan framework?

The masterplan Framework is a strategic document that sits beneath the Local Plan and provides the key principles that future planning applications must align to. The masterplan framework should be read in conjunction with the adopted Local Plan and the Supplementary Planning Documents.

The masterplan framework is not a planning application. Each masterplan framework is subject to public consultation and will be approved by Full Council before any planning applications are approved on the affected sites. Note that planning applications will also be prepared and consulted on before any further development comes forward on the site.

What does a masterplan framework include?

Where we are preparing masterplan frameworks, they will include the following information:

  • Planning policy summary
  • Site location and description
  • Land ownership
  • A summary of the existing evidence
  • Site evaluation (opportunities and constraints)
  • Land use framework
  • Sustainable movement framework
  • Protection of existing public rights of way routes and their incorporation within new development layouts
  • Vehicular movement framework
  • Green and blue infrastructure framework
  • Placemaking framework (including design guides for character and neighbourhood areas where applicable)
  • Sustainability and energy use
  • Health and well-being
  • Design evolution
  • Conceptual masterplan
  • Infrastructure and delivery phasing

Each masterplan framework will be bespoke and therefore considered on a case-by-case basis.

Why have MU2 and MU3 been identified as a site for development and why will it have a masterplan framework?

Each council is required by Government to produce a Development Plan.  The Barnsley Local Plan was adopted by the council in January 2019.  This was the culmination of five years’ work by the council, including several public consultations and a two-year public examination. When the Local Plan was being examined it was agreed that for some of the larger strategic sites – such as MU2 and MU3 - it was necessary to prepare masterplan frameworks to make sure that sites could be developed in a comprehensive manner, taking into account all of the infrastructure requirements.

Looking at large allocations in this way, rather than on a site-by-site basis, makes sure we can make the best use of sites and secure sustainable and inclusive growth reflecting each of the council’s corporate priorities.

What are you consulting on?

The sites were allocated within the adopted Barnsley Local Plan in early 2019. The Local Plan requires a masterplan framework to be produced for two sites (MU2 and MU3) to make sure it is properly planned and that we take account of the overall impacts to maximise benefits and minimise impacts. 

Given that the land is allocated within the Local Plan, this consultation is not about whether the site should be developed. The Council is consulting on what sort of framework should be in place, against which planning applications would then be assessed.

What does this masterplan framework include?

The masterplan framework proposes a mixed-use development to deliver around 2,000 new homes and associated facilities to address the borough’s housing need.  This includes a small local shop; a community garden and a 210-pupil expansion to Carlton Primary Academy. The framework prioritises walking, cycling and public transport to encourage sustainable travel.

The MU3 allocation includes Wharncliffe Woodmoor, which is currently a community greenspace.  This provides great opportunities for the masterplan framework to centre the development around Wharncliffe Woodmoor and to enhance the biodiversity value of Wharncliffe Woodmoor.  In addition, the proximity of Carlton Marsh, a newly-designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) site, allows the masterplan framework to respect the setting of Carlton Marsh and improve the biodiversity connections to Carlton Marsh.

Who is responsible for producing the masterplan?

Barnsley Council have commissioned master planning consultants Ove Arup Partners Ltd (Arup) to produce the draft masterplan framework.  Arup is working in partnership with Gillespies to produce the masterplan Framework on the council’s behalf.  The council’s role in this process is to make sure that proposals are compliant with planning policy and delivers the anticipated outputs determined by the Local Plan.

What are the objectives of the masterplan framework?

  • Understand the site constraints and opportunities.
  • Set out a clear vision and development objectives for each masterplan framework.
  • Encouraging the creation of high-quality spaces and buildings in a way that would prioritise the people’s experience of the development.
  • Improve the quality of the public areas with a focus on the interface between new routes and open spaces.
  • Ensure suitable access to the development.
  • A clear delivery plan setting out, among other items, each project’s phasing, timescales, delivery approach, funding and key parties to be involved.
  • Provide a design code to guide future development and ensure the creation of integrated places and communities.

What alternative sites were considered and why were these sites not suitable?

As part of the Local Plan process, the council was required to look at where growth might best be located. This site was identified through that process as suitable for mixed-use development.

Find out more information about the site selection and allocation process, which was part of the Local Plan development stage or contact 01226 772606 for further information  

Why is the project necessary?

The Local Plan requires that the masterplan frameworks should be developed for specific large allocations and groups of sites. This Carlton site will deliver 2,000 new homes, a new small local shop, a 210-pupil expansion to Carlton Primary Academy and a community garden.

The Carlton masterplan framework also capitalises on the existing Wharncliffe Woodmoor, which is currently a community greenspace.  The masterplan framework centres around Wharncliffe Woodmoor with green infrastructure corridors through the site, connecting to Carlton Marsh, a newly designated SSSI site, and other Areas of Significant Ecological Value.  The design team will be working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to identify opportunities to further enhance the biodiversity value of Wharncliffe Woodmoor.

It is important for the council to work with developers and landowners to deliver a masterplan framework to establish the infrastructure requirements and deliver sustainable and inclusive growth. The absence of a framework could result in developers and landowners bringing forward planning applications to develop their own sites without properly considering how they relate to the wider area and without each party contributing their fair share towards overall infrastructure requirements.

What are the timescales for the project?

Following the six-week public consultation, Arup, Gillespies and Barnsley Council will review the questionnaire feedback. Following this, the final version of the masterplan framework will be prepared. This document will then be taken through to the Full Council for approval with a view to adoption in November 2021.

How is the project being funded?

The project has been funded by Barnsley Council.

What do we mean by placemaking principles and what are they for this masterplan area?

Placemaking principles refer to a set of strategic objectives that helps us shape and achieve a strong people-centred approach to the planning, design and management of the masterplan and its public spaces.

There are 7 overarching placemaking principles for Carlton, they include:

  1. Quality homes and neighbourhoods – Promote a diverse new neighbourhood consisting of a rich mix of house types and tenures and high-quality homes for all.
  2. Community, heritage and local character – Focus on high quality design that connects with the surrounding community and reflects the site’s distinctive heritage and local character.
  3. Landscape and biodiversity – Promote new community greenspace, landscaped links, trees and vegetation to achieve an overall biodiversity net gain.
  4. Sustainable transport connections – Extend new landscaped active travel links to the surrounding facilities and the Trans Pennine Trail/ National Cycle Network.
  5. Facilities and local hub - A place with an extended primary school, small local shop and neighbourhood greenspace as new local hub for the community.
  6. Smart technology and low carbon – Explore and promote clean alternative energy usage and minimum carbon consumption through smart technology.
  7. Partnership and delivery – Implement robust delivery and partnership strategy for new housing and facilities within the development.

What provision will be made for retail and community facilities within the masterplan area?

The masterplan provides includes a small-scale local shop in compliance with Local Plan policy TC5 Small Local Shops. It also includes a community garden and play areas.

Will new and current residents have access to schools, doctors and community facilities?

Infrastructure has been considered throughout the Local Plan process through the site selection methodology, and in the evidence base of the Local Plan. The council engaged with relevant infrastructure providers in the production of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), which supports the Local Plan.

This evidence base, including transport modelling, has been thoroughly checked by the Independent Planning Inspector, who considers the Local Plan to be sound. 

In addition, Local Plan Policy I1 Infrastructure and Planning Obligations states that development must be supported by appropriate physical, social, economic and communications infrastructure including provision for broadband. New development should not overburden existing infrastructure. Where new development creates a need for new or improved infrastructure, developer contributions will be sought to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

The following provides a summary to each key service in accordance with the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP).


Barnsley Council are working with NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board to develop a strategy to make sure services can evolve to meet the needs of existing communities and population growth associated with new housing development. South Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed through the IDP that the geographical coverage of existing services is adequate for the level of planned growth.

BMBC are working with the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board to ensure that GP practices are aware of the planned growth and future planning taking account of additional patient demands or needs.


During the preparation of the IDP, South Yorkshire Police confirmed that there were no issues with current provision, and none envisaged in the foreseeable future.

Fire and Rescue

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed through the IDP that they were reviewing service provision within the borough and that it would consider the needs of the existing communities as well as planned growth for the next 15 years.


Barnsley Council as a Local Authority has a statutory duty ensure the supply of sufficient school places of good quality in the right area at the right time.

The Local Plan identified land for new schools where demand arising from new development could not be accommodated within existing schools. The masterplan framework has included for an extension to Carlton Primary Academy. Additional secondary places arising from this development/masterplan will be provided through careful liaison with schools within the area local to the development in order to meet demand

Who will live in the houses?

Policy H6 of the Local Plan requires housing proposals to include a broad mix of house sizes, type and tenure to help create mixed and balanced communities.

Policy H7 of the Local Plan requires housing developments of 15 or more houses to provide affordable housing. Developers are expected to provide 10 percent affordable housing within Carlton, which can include a mixture of affordable rent and homes for affordable ownership.

The type, tenure, and size of affordable homes will be agreed at the planning application stage.

What were MU2 and MU3’s previous uses? Are the sites designated as Green Belt?

Although a lot of MU2 and MU3 looks green, most of these sites were historically used as mining, landfill, water treatment works and other such land uses. Neither the MU2 nor MU3 sites are designated as Green Belt.

As part of the Local Plan process, a range of sites were considered through the housing and employment site selection assessments. This work was supported by a range of background technical reports and evidence base documents including the Green Belt Review and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which determined its suitability for development and led to its release from Green Belt.

Both sites are formed of a mixture of green field and previous uses. MU2 was previously allocated for housing and a school within the Unitary Development Plan (2000). MU3 was released from the Green Belt as part of the Local Plan process. Both the MU2 and MU3 sites are allocated for development in the adopted Local Plan (2019) and as such are considered suitable for development.

There is designated Green Belt to the north of MU3, which will remain undeveloped as part of the masterplan framework. However, one option (Option A) in the movement framework is to provide a new road from the B6132 Royston Lane north of Carlton to the north west of the MU3 allocation site. This would tie into Barnsley's wider strategic transport ambitions for a relief road from Lee Lane, Royston, via Carlton towards the A628. Further information about this can be found in the Movement section of this FAQ.

How are you considering net zero carbon and climate change as part of the Framework?

Recognising the climate emergency declared by BMBC in 2019 and the goal to become a net zero carbon borough by 2045, we are targeting a 65% reduction in carbon emissions across the borough by 2025 (2017 baseline), as set out in the Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2020.  The Zero45 strategy will coordinate Barnsley’s borough-wide transition to zero carbon by 2045. 

Therefore, sustainability and energy usage have been fundamental in the development of this masterplan Framework and is one of the placemaking principles.

Under the government’s current plans, there will be a gas and oil boiler ban in new build homes from 2025. In time, it’s possible there could be a complete gas boiler ban. UK homeowners would have to replace their boiler with a low-carbon alternative. As a result of this, BMBC have been exploring the feasibility of a green smart energy system based along the lines of district heating network, powered by a combination of industrial waste heat and mine water. This is being explored for the new build homes but could also be retrofitted to some of the older housing stock should a heat network prove to be viable

The use of sustainable transport is promoted including walking, cycling, bus services, a potential new railway station and electric vehicle charging points in every home. This, alongside proactive travel planning on the part of developers, should reduce the carbon emissions associated with transport from residents and occupiers of the scheme.

Furthermore, provision of high-speed digital fibre connections to the site will allow people the option of working from home, reducing the need to travel. It is expected that developers will provide digital infrastructure to offer occupiers ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with a choice of provider.

The reduction of embodied carbon is encouraged. This could be achieved by, for example, far more extensive use of timber from certified sustainable sources than traditionally seen in UK housebuilding; use of modular products that reduce wastage; and greater use of both natural and recyclable materials alongside adoption of circular economy principles. It is expected that developers will use the RICS Whole Life Carbon Assessment to reduce the carbon of housing on this site and will publish details of the outcome of this assessment as part of the marketing process.

How will the scheme affect air quality?

Read our guidance regarding air quality considerations for planning applications, which says that air quality impact needs to be considered and mitigated.

Future planning applications for the site are required to comply with this guidance to make sure that there is no deterioration in air quality in and around the masterplan framework area.

Will the scheme generate excessive noise?

The masterplan framework and planning applications will consider noise impacts for existing and new residents. Developers will need to demonstrate that new development does not have an adverse impact on the living conditions of residents. Developers will also need to consider the potential noise impacts from surrounding industrial uses as part of the planning application process.

How will the scheme affect the ecology and biodiversity of the site?

As part of the Local Plan, a series of biodiversity assessments were provided for proposed site allocations. The assessments identified areas and features of significant ecological value that should be retained as part of any new development. These areas have been identified on the technical constraints plan and have informed the layout of the masterplan.

As developers bring forward planning applications for the site in the future, they will be required to undertake detailed ecology surveys to identify habitats and wildlife on the site eg bird surveys, and provide appropriate mitigation, as required.

The masterplan framework will seek to retain and enhance existing trees and biodiversity features wherever possible and will deliver a minimum 10 percent Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). This may be through a combination of on and off-site compensation measures, such as enhancing existing greenspace.

The masterplan framework will include an accessible landscape and ecology buffer between the development and surrounding Green Belt to protect sensitive landscape and ecology, including Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve. It seeks to minimise development on Wharncliffe Woodmoor and will enhance it as a key neighbourhood green space.

The masterplan framework will create wildlife corridors to increase connectivity for wildlife. Native species rich mixes will be used for any new areas of open grassland, hedgerows and woodland.

What is Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)?

BNG is an approach to development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. It uses a metric to look at different habitats on site and looks at how you can increase biodiversity on site post development. There is a set of Good Practice Principles which provide a framework for projects to show they are following good practice. One of the fundamental requirements is to do everything possible to avoid losing biodiversity in the first place – applying the mitigation hierarchy.

What is the current status of Biodiversity Net Gain?

The Government will be mandating 10 percent BNG in the forthcoming Environment Bill (which passed its second reading in February 2020). The BNG policy will be set out in local plans (when they are updated, which is expected to be in 2024 unless an earlier review is required by government) and will allow the Local Planning Authority to target biodiversity enhancement to the habitats, species or locations where there is the greatest need for biodiversity restoration.

What are the proposals to mitigate the impact on green space?

The masterplan framework will confirm the general area and main design principles for new facilities. The masterplan framework will set out the principles for a range of new green spaces, such as the location of these spaces and the design code. This could include informal open space, a community garden, children’s play areas, wildlife corridors and recreational trails for families and dog walkers to enjoy.

Any future planning applications for this masterplan site will also have to comply with the standards set within the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) ‘Open Space Provision on New Housing Developments’. This includes a minimum of 15 percent of the total site must be kept as public open space. The detailed design of any new open space will be progressed as part of future planning applications.

The masterplan framework will also set out principles for maintaining green space and the responsibilities for individual developers will be agreed through a legal agreement at the planning application stage.

What are the potential impacts on Wharncliffe Woodmoor?

Wharncliffe Woodmoor is a green space with recreational and biodiversity value located between Fish Dam Lane, West Green Way, the railway line and Shaw Lane. In this consultation and masterplan framework, Wharncliffe Woodmoor is referring to the area described above and not the Pit Field area near Ollerton Road, Athersley.

Every effort has been taken to minimise development on Wharncliffe Woodmoor since it is recognised as an important greenspace. Refer to the FAQ question in the movement section about the potential impact of access roads on Wharncliffe Woodmoor. 

As required by the Local Plan, any development on Wharncliffe Woodmoor will be offset by providing green space of equivalent biodiversity value, connected to Wharncliffe Woodmoor by wildlife corridors. 

As part of mitigation, the masterplan framework proposes to protect, enhance and manage Wharncliffe Woodmoor and the Areas of Significant Ecological Value to increase the quality and biodiversity value of these spaces.

As part of the masterplan framework process, the design team are working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), who manage and maintain Wharncliffe Woodmoor, to explore biodiversity enhancement opportunities as part of the masterplan framework.

How will the masterplan framework impact Carlton Marsh?

Carlton Marsh is now designated as a SSSI site as part of the wider Dearne Valley Washlands.  Carlton Marsh is designated for supporting nationally important bird species, including willow tit.

The masterplan framework site is located on the opposite side of the railway line from Carlton Marsh. The intention of the framework is to provide wildlife corridors throughout the site connecting the Areas of Significant Ecological Value as well as providing connectivity to existing areas of ecological value within the wider landscape including Carlton Marsh.

It should be noted that further species surveys, where required, will be undertaken for individual planning applications throughout the site. These surveys will detail the species present and any mitigation required, as appropriate, in line with standard planning requirements.

How are you considering heritage assets and archaeology?

Most of the relevant heritage assets are outside of the site. The site is adjacent to the Carlton Conservation area and there are other industrial heritage features such as the railway and the old colliery on and adjacent to the site. It is key to ensure the distinctive local character and heritage within and around the site will be reflected in the proposal and create a development that belongs in Carlton. The masterplan framework and the design code require developers to do this and will provide guidance on how to integrate and reflect these local characteristics.

Other heritage assets of note are the ridge and furrow earthworks in the northern part of MU3, which may need to be recorded prior to development; and the historic canal.  A section of disused canal borders the northern section of MU3 and the canal has been in-filled south of Shaw Lane, however the tow path for the in-filled canal still runs through the southern sections of MU3. The masterplan framework will retain and enhance the active travel route adjacent to the disused canal and utilise the alignment of the tow path to provide further active travel routes.

What is being provided within the site to encourage active travel?

The movement strategy is based on a hierarchy of routes through the site and prioritises walking, cycling and public transport over motor vehicles to encourage sustainable travel and reduce the impact of private vehicles.

The movement strategy also provides new and improved walking and cycling routes, including the realignment of the National Cycle Trail (NCT) and the Trans-Pennine Trail (TPT), to make it more attractive for users.

Why are there two movement strategies?

There is only one difference between the two movement framework options. One of the options (Option A) includes a northerly vehicular movement link from Royston Lane to the north west of the MU3 allocation.  This would tie in with Barnsley's strategic transport ambitions for a relief road from Lee Lane, Royston, via Carlton towards the A628. Option B does not include the northerly vehicular movement link.

Why are you developing on Wharncliffe Woodmoor?

Wharncliffe Woodmoor is recognised as an important green space asset and the masterplan framework seeks to minimise the impact on this asset. 

Whilst the Local Plan required access to be taken from Far Field Lane / West Green Way roundabout, through the masterplan process the project team decided that a less harmful approach would be alternative access from Fish Dam Lane to the majority of the development in MU3.  This would protect Wharncliffe Woodmoor and avoid the severance of the important green space.

In order to provide some passive surveillance for the road and to create a more attractive and safer road, some development is proposed along the access road from Fish Dam Lane, as shown on the plans this will be kept to a minimum.

The current movement framework is based on the understanding that the existing access via the Church Street / Shaw Lane junction has insufficient capacity to accommodate the additional trips from the development.  Further modelling is being undertaken to confirm this requirement.

Further information about environmental impacts and mitigation of Wharncliffe Woodmoor is discussed in the environment section.

How were people notified about the public consultation?

Households and businesses located within a 250m radius of the site were notified by letter, in addition to community groups within Carlton, informing them about upcoming public consultation activities.

Additional publicity included:

  • Site notices posted around the Carlton masterplan framework boundary
  • A special notice in the Barnsley Chronicle
  • Press/media release made available on the Barnsley website
  • Social media

How do I learn more about the masterplan framework?

All materials are available on the BMBC website for download and available to view through our virtual consultation room.  

We are also holding a series of live Q&A and topical discussions using Microsoft Teams. If you would like to sign up to attend one of these events, please visit the BMBC website. If you are unable to access anything online, please call 01226 773555 and we can get hard copies of the materials posted to you.

We also encourage you to submit a consultation feedback form. You can submit your feedback directly through our virtual consultation room or you can download the form from the BMBC website and submit it via email or through the post at Development Management, Planning and Building Control, Barnsley MBC, PO Box 634, Barnsley, S70 9GG.

How long is the consultation period for this masterplan?

The consultation period for this master plan runs for six weeks from 16 June at 12pm to 28 July at 5pm.  This six-week period will allow enough time to effectively distribute requested hard copy materials and allow members of the public time to review them.

How are you taking into account public feedback?

Providing the public and key stakeholders with the opportunity to comment on the masterplan, and keeping the public and other stakeholders informed, is an integral part of development process. All feedback received will be considered and analysed as part of the development process. The outcomes of this analysis will be reported within a Statement of Community Engagement Report.