Barnsley Council Cabinet members approved the proposed masterplan framework for Barnsley West (MU1) and the plan was adopted by Full Council on Thursday 19 December 2019.
The Barnsley West area covers the Local Plan mixed use site MU1 and has the capacity to deliver around 1700 housing units and 43 hectares of employment land.
The site lies two kilometres to the west of Barnsley town centre on land between the communities of Gawber, Higham, Pogmoor and Barugh Green, next to the M1. Much of the site was previously an open-cast mine and was later refilled.
Alongside the housing units and employment land, the development can also include a new primary school, small shops and community facilities as well as an access link road among other brand-new infrastructure.
A community consultation exercise to gather views on the draft masterplan framework was carried out between Thursday 12 September 2019 and Thursday 24 October 2019. Through questionnaires and community events people had the opportunity to comment on the draft plan and its main themes.
Using information gathered from people’s views a proposed masterplan framework has been developed, with a specific focus on the themes below.
You can also visit the developer website for MU1: www.barnsleywest.co.uk
People are concerned about healthcare capacity in the area.
We have worked in partnership with the Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group to develop a healthcare briefing note which sets out the current provision in the area and a commitment to engage with local GP practices to plan and respond to growth. This may include workforce recruitment or upskilling the existing workforce.
Impact during construction
People are concerned about the likely 15-year build programme and its impact on existing residents such as noise and air quality.
The proposed masterplan framework has set out a definite requirement for a construction management plan to be submitted as part of any planning application on the site. The plan encourages developers to use the best practice Customised Code of Considerate Construction Conduct to provide a positive commitment to existing residents and a pro-active approach to liaising with communities during construction.
People feel that diverting traffic away from the residential areas, along with the promotion of walking, cycling and bus use, would reduce the impact of development on the highway.
We know that public transport will play an essential role in reducing congestion in the area and that there are potential benefits to people’s health by encouraging active travel such as walking and cycling. The proposed masterplan framework requires planning applications to be supported by a framework travel plan which encourages travel to the area to be made by sustainable modes of transport.
To make sure that public transport meets people’s needs, the proposed masterplan framework sets out a requirement for bus service enhancements. Planning applications must set out how the site has been designed to provide sustainable forms of transport and to make sure that the development is accessible for everyone.
Stewardship and maintenance of green spaces
People told us that green space was an important feature of the area.
The proposed masterplan framework sets out our expectations in terms of appointing a single management organisation/trust, and the importance of engaging with them so they can input into the design of biodiversity assets including attenuation basins, green space and swales. This will help to ‘design out’ future maintenance issues. We’ve been engaging with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Land Trust, who are both open to working with us in this area.
To make the most of the green spaces, there will be a focus on key principles such as biodiversity gain, health, education and learning as well as community cohesion and volunteering across these spaces.
Housing mix, scale and design
People expressed their preferences for a range of house types, tenures and sizes to be included in the development. 2, 3 and 4-bed properties were all popular, along with bungalows, semidetached and detached homes.
The proposed masterplan framework includes design principles which allow for a broad range of house types, including bungalows, to be developed.
People were concerned about the boundaries between the houses. The proposed masterplan framework includes design principles which will make sure parameters are set to protect existing and proposed residential amenity levels (such as private outdoor space, privacy, outlook and natural light).
The overall housing mix will be determined by the Strategic Housing Market Assessment when planning applications are submitted.
Landscape impact and site topography
People raised significant concerns about the potential scale of the proposed employment units in the area.
The proposed masterplan framework now states that planning applications must be accompanied by a detailed landscape and visual impact assessment. This must show that proposals sufficiently complement the surrounding landscape and minimises the impact on neighbouring areas.
If the landscape and visual impact is deemed unacceptable, developers will need to do further earthworks modelling to support alternative options aimed at minimising the impact on neighbouring areas.
Design of green space, play spaces
People wanted new facilities to be of a high-quality, clean, safe and well-maintained to attract as many people as possible to use them. They want the facilities to be well-located, accessed by footpaths/cycle routes with secure and convenient cycle parking.
The proposed masterplan framework will create connected cycle routes and a range of formal and informal spaces. We have set design principles to highlight the need for natural surveillance of green space, clean and well-maintained signage and to make sure appropriate road and pavement surfacing is used throughout the development.
People have considerable concerns relating to the additional traffic generated during construction (any other traffic including construction vehicles), and the impact that would have on surrounding communities before the opening of the link road.
The proposed masterplan framework has a clear expectation that the link road should be delivered as early as possible in the development.
We will look at all options for delivering the link road (before the identified dates in the transport modelling) at the planning application stage. This is when a more detailed assessment of the surrounding highway network will be undertaken.
Following the declaration of the climate emergency, the proposed masterplan framework now sets out our expectations on new developments. These requirements should ensure the carbon footprint for each developed property is being minimised and tied into the borough’s goal to be carbon zero by 2045.
The proposed masterplan framework sets out a requirement to incorporate space in new homes to accommodate low-carbon technology in the future, demonstrate compliance with the latest sustainability standards, and include measures to minimise carbon emissions and waste material over the lifetime of the development.
It also sets out the level of detail required in Energy Statements. These statements should explain whether zero carbon levels can be achieved, and if not developers should demonstrate why this has not been possible, and explain what steps have been taken to achieve zero carbon levels through retrofit at a future point.
In order to provide design consistency and quality across the area and to provide certainty to residents and stakeholders through the planning process, a design code has been developed to sit alongside the proposed masterplan framework. The code will set clear parameters and act as a benchmark for quality across the development.
The proposed masterplan framework will support broadband infrastructure from a range of providers to give people choice and avoid the monopolisation of the area by one provider.
Developers will be required to install gigabit-capable, full-fibre broadband infrastructure across the masterplan framework area to future-proof the development.
Design principles included in the proposed masterplan framework will also help to minimise the visual impact and physical obstructions on footpaths and cycleway from this new connectivity.