This website has been created to present, in an open and transparent manner, the proposals formulated by development company Yorkshire Land Limited for the allocation of previously developed industrial land as a suitable site for a new business Park in the emerging Barnsley Local Plan, to serve the needs of Penistone and the Western part of the Barnsley Borough. The proposed Blackmoor Business Park site adjoins the village of Oxspring, near Penistone. The village of Thurgoland is also located within 1 mile to the east of the site.
Yorkshire Land Limited is a privately owned development company, active for almost 30 years, which has been instrumental in the delivery of a range of projects within the Barnsley Borough during this time. The Company has a track record of delivering high quality developments and has remediated a number of difficult previously developed Brownfield sites in the Borough, including the 11 acre Cammell Laird Steel Works, which the Councils Development Control Manager described beforehand, during the mid 1980’s, as an almost impossible task. Yorkshire Land Limited has never received grant assistance of any kind and the company’s projects have supported local businesses and suppliers, created jobs and brought tens of millions of pounds of investment into the Borough, creating further wealth.
The Blackmoor Business Park proposals carefully take account of local issues including the recognised movements of HGV traffic through Penistone Town Centre, the loss of an area of land in Penistone originally earmarked for employment purposes to a development of residential Housing in the emerging Barnsley Local Plan (Local Plan Site Reference H69) and in particular the presence of several low bridges within the vicinity of Penistone which limit the suitability and viability of other land for employment purposes, to serve the business and employment needs of Penistone throughout the Barnsley Local Plan Period to the year 2033.
The emerging Barnsley Local Plan sets out the key elements of the planning framework for Barnsley and the approach to its long term physical development to achieve the Council’s vision of what sort of place Barnsley wants to become, when adopted it will provide Local Planning Policy for the future development of Barnsley up to the year 2033. It identifies that Barnsley’s employment needs and aspirations cannot be achieved without the need to release land from the Green Belt and accordingly, the Council has proposed within the emerging Barnsley Local Plan to release circa 300 hectares (741 acres) of land across the entire Barnsley Borough for employment purposes alone.
The proposed Blackmoor Business Park Site extends to approximately 25 Acres (10 Hectares) in size; whilst it is previously developed land (a term often referred to as Brownfield) it is currently identified as being within the Green Belt within the emerging Local Plan. The site, whilst adjoining Oxspring, is located within very close proximity to Penistone, which is the Principal Town serving the Western part of the Barnsley Borough. It can be accessed directly from the B6462 Sheffield Road without HGV’s having to travel through the centre of Penistone and is not affected by low bridges in the vicinity. The B6462 connects to the A628 just 0.7 miles from the site, from where the M1 motorway or Woodhead Pass are only ten minutes drive away. Importantly, the site is bound on its southern boundary by the Trans Pennine Trail, from where Penistone and its Railway Station are just 10 minutes away by bicycle. This is undoubtedly a very sustainable asset, which is not shared by the only employment site presently allocated in the emerging Local Plan (site reference P2) to serve the needs of Penistone and the Western part of the Borough.
In terms of Public Transport access, an existing bus stop is positioned at the entrance to the site. Undoubtedly, any comprehensive employment development at the proposed Blackmoor Business Park site would result in a strengthening of the local bus services and the likely provision of new or expanded routes in addition to those serving existing destinations including Penistone, Barnsley, Stocksbridge, Sheffield and many of Barnsley’s Western Rural Villages.
Whilst proposals for the Blackmoor Business Park are aimed at the identification of a sustainable and sizeable employment site for Penistone, commensurate to its identification as a Principal Town, which will help to reduce future HGV movements and disruption in the centre of Penistone and increase opportunities for the use of public transport, walking and cycling; we have also developed separate proposals aimed at comprehensive improvements to the Local Public Transport Infrastructure in Penistone as part of new housing development in the area. Our website: www.PenistoneTransportInterchange.co.uk contains full details in relation to our proposals to enable the delivery of a Public Transport Interchange on land in our ownership adjacent to Penistone Station alongside ancillary facilities such as a 100 space car park, public toilet facilities, cafe/tearoom, newsagents and a comprehensive Tourism Hub.
Allocation of the proposed Blackmoor Business Park for the employment purposes we have proposed would therefore result in the formal identification of a previously developed site of a size sufficient to accommodate all of the employment needs of Penistone and the surrounding western rural villages in one viable and sustainable location (accessible by foot, bicycle and public transport in close proximity to Penistone and its Railway Station and the site of the proposed Transport Interchange) beyond the end of the Barnsley Local Plan Period in the year 2033.
There is, from our detailed knowledge of the area over three decades, an undersupply of suitable employment land in Penistone and the Western part of the Barnsley Borough; it is a fact that Penistone and the Western Part of the Borough has the lowest allocation of employment land of all areas within Borough. This is concerning when you consider that the Western Part of the Borough makes up more than 50% of the total land within the entire Barnsley Borough.
At present, the only employment site allocation to serve the needs of Penistone and the Western part of the Borough (Local Plan Reference P2) extends to just 3.3 hectares and there are a number of issues and constraints affecting the suitability and viability of site reference P2 for such development, many of which are identified by the Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC/the Council) itself in the emerging Local Plan.
On 11 May 2016, a detailed written representation setting out the proposals by Yorkshire Land limited for the Blackmoor Business Park was submitted to BMBC seeking to secure an employment allocation for the site in the Barnsley Local Plan. This representation forms Appendix 1 of our letter dated 24 May 2016 (reference YLL/JJ/16.06) to the Councils Head of Planning (Mr Joe Jenkinson) which can be found on the documentation page of this website.
In consideration of the serious concerns we have highlighted, including in respect of HGV Access via Penistone and the suitability and viability concerns that exist in respect of Local Plan site reference P2, all of which must surely be known to BMBC, it was astonishing that within only three and a half working days of having received the written representation on behalf of Yorkshire Land Limited setting out the Blackmoor Business Park proposals, the Council flippantly dismissed them; apparently without affording any consideration to the facts which support allocation of the site for employment purposes. We firmly believe that our representations seeking allocation of the Blackmoor Business Park site for employment purposes could not have been properly assessed or afforded any real consideration by the Council in such a short period of time.
The dismissive rejection by the Council of the Blackmoor Business Park proposals resulted in the sequence of correspondence between Yorkshire Land Limited and the Council’s Head of Planning (Mr Joe Jenkinson) and Spokesperson for Place (Councillor Roy Miller) which is available to read on the documentation page of this website.
The Councils formal position in respect of the proposed Blackmoor Business Park site, contained within a letter received from Councillor Roy Miller (reference PRM/JA) could be considered questionable at best. For example, Councillor Miller identifies that officers do not accept the site is previously developed (instead stating that the majority of the site is Greenfield) and contend that the sustainability credentials of the site would be poor due to the location of the site which, in the Council’s opinion, is remote from the Penistone Principal Town.
The Councils contentions that the sustainability credentials of the site would be poor and that it is remote from the Penistone Principal Town contradicts the Councils own Unitary Development Plan, which was formally adopted in December 2000, following an extensive Public Inquiry and identifies both the villages of Oxspring and Thurgoland as ‘Selected Villages’ which have the capacity in terms of Community Facilities and Infrastructure. the Unitary Development Plan also confirms that Oxspring is identified for further development because of its physical relationship to the Penistone Urban Area and because it has the infrastructure capacity to accommodate some further development without serious detriment to the quality and character of the Green Belt. Furthermore, as the site of the proposed Blackmoor Business Park is accessed directly from a B-road, served by Public Transport and situated only a 10 minute cycle ride from Penistone Railway Station along the Trans Pennine Trail (which as set out above forms the southern boundary of the site) with respect, we feel the Councils comments regarding the proposals for the site demonstrate either a total ignorance of the area or an unjust arrogance.
Councillor Miller also sets out in his letter that as the site is within the Green Belt, the proposed employment development would have a significantly detrimental impact on openness. However, in this regard, we refer you to pages 6 and 7 of our letter of response to Councillor Roy Miller dated 31 May 2016 (reference YLL/RM/16.01) which can be found on the documentation page of this website.
The Councils own Green Belt Review document (Penistone and Neighbouring villages) which was compiled by a professional consultancy ‘Arup’ on behalf of the Council and forms key supporting evidence based documentation of the emerging Barnsley Local Plan, sets out categorically on page 93, in its assessments of General Area ‘PEN11’ which includes the site of the proposed Blackmoor Business Park that:
“In the east, the topography rises sharply to Black Moor and Common Weir. Large wooded areas reduce the level of openness and the large sewage works at cheese bottom reduces the rural character.”
The sewage works referred to by Arup (which are in fact the main sewage works serving Penistone) contain the site of the proposed Blackmoor Business Park on its Eastern Boundary. The sewage works and the large wooded area also referred to by Arup are both clearly visible on the large aerial photograph which is positioned at the top of this page.
We therefore respectfully suggest that the Council’s claim that the proposed Blackmoor Business Park development would have a significantly detrimental impact on openness is wholly at odds with the assessment of Arup, whom the Council formally commissioned to undertake the Green Belt Review on its behalf.
In consideration of this evidence, we asked Councillor Roy Miller what proportion of the proposed development of circa 300 hectares (741 acres) of land which the Council is supporting elsewhere for employment purposes within the Borough, will not have an impact on openness; however, the Council failed to respond to this question, despite our polite chasing requests for an answer.
Fortunately an independent Planning Inspector will properly assess the facts and propose amendments to the emerging Local Plan, if they feel it necessary to do so, in consideration of evidence considered as part of an examination in public, which must be held to finalise the Barnsley Local Plan process and before it can be adopted by the Council.
All of our correspondence with the Council regarding out proposals for the Blackmoor Business Park is available to view on this website and presents the myriad of evidence which weighs in favour of the proposals. Such Evidence in support of the sites allocation includes the Penistone Community Led Parish Plan 2013. Whilst this document is not adopted as a statutory policy document by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, it does, at this time, provide an up to date independent assessment of the local circumstances and should therefore be considered to represent both the local public and Penistone Town Council’s aspirations for the future development of the Town.
Page 33 of the Penistone Community Led Parish Plan 2013 sets out in regard to ‘HGV Access’ that
“HGV’s are considered a problem in Penistone Town Centre with 55% of respondents stating the traffic is unacceptable.”
We are aware that the majority of HGV’s which travel daily to the two existing business parks in Springvale and Oxspring are required to transit via the centre of Penistone, due to the presence of low Bridges which prevent access and egress to these facilities avoiding Penistone, via the south. The proposed employment Site Reference P2 is also situated between low bridges and therefore, if developed, would inevitably result in a greater proportion of HGV traffic transiting through the centre of Penistone, as the only viable route of access to it.
The photograph below, which was taken on 24 October 2016, shows one such high sided HGV travelling along the B6462 in Springvale, nearby Penistone Railway Station, towards Penistone Town Centre and en-route to the A628/A629. This HGV was unable to avoid Penistone Town Centre and the ‘Square-about’ one way system on market place, due to the existence of the low railway bridge in Oxspring, which has a height of only 13 feet 3 inches (please see the photograph which forms Appendix 4 of our letter to Councillor Roy Miller, reference YL/RM/16.01, which is available on the documentation page of this website).
The photograph below also illustrates how HGV’s have to manoeuvre dangerously into the centre of the road, on a blind bend, to enable them to pass under this bridge in Springvale, with only inches to spare. Crucially, the bridge in this photograph is 18 inches higher than the bridge in Oxspring which has a restriction of 13 feet 3 inches and thus illustrates perfectly why the latter is impassable by the majority of HGV traffic serving the existing business parks in Springvale and Oxspring.
We hope you find the information available on this website informative and if you do support our proposals for the future delivery of new employment site to serve Penistone and the Western Part of the Borough, please write your local Councillor and/or Member of Parliament, who should then contact Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to make known support for the proposals.
Thank you for taking your time to read this correspondence.