I e-mailed our local mp Angela Smith yesterday and asked as to why local people are not being contacted and kept informed about meetings such as the one in May and also the one on the 19th July.
Take into account that i contacted recycoal and sheffield city council at the beginning of the week and asked the same questions. I then miraculousley had a letter pushed through my letterbox yesterday morning at 8am.
I still haven't had my question answered. Here's the response i got from Angela Smith MP' s office:-
While I work for Angela I am also one of the local councillors for the area.
Your local Councillors were also concerned that the consultation with locals in your area was not satisfactory (something I raised with the company and Planners) and that there where a number of people who might not be aware of this planning application that is why we asked the assembly to arrange another public meeting with residents on that estate.
As Councillors we have delivered a letter to every house on the estate asking for views. We would like people to attend the meeting on 19th July.
While it would be useful to have Reponses back for the meeting if they are received too late or if people can’t attend we will make sure everybody gets a response to their questions. The reason we wanted to organise a meeting as soon as possible is that we were aware that people where getting concerned and rumours where circulating. We also want to make sure everyone is aware of the plans before it goes to a planning board in the Autumn. To leave it any longer would have started impacting the holiday period and to have a meeting after the summer would we believe been too late. At the meeting should be representatives of the owner and developer of the site and planning officers from SCC. Your 3 local councillors will also be present.
The concerns you have raised are valid and have already been raised with both planners and the applicants (owners) of the site by myself and other local councillors.
I have to stress this is a planning application and will go through the usual planning process with the final decision being made by a planning board. Sheffield City council are not the owners of the land and are not promoting the proposals. However, they are the planning authority with a duty to assess the planning application.
Plans for this land have been around for a number of years (first mooted, I believe in 2009), however, these latest plans did not surface until late April, I believe. I am also informed that in the long term something has to be done with the land. I am sure you are aware the slag heap was used for many years both for the old colliery and then the coking plant and a large amount of coal and slag has been left there and I am told at some point it will have to be removed.
However, I am concerned that any proposals should not be to the detriment of residents in the area. The actual planning application can be found here http://publicaccess.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/caseDetails.do?keyVal=M6DTU5NYFY000&caseType=Application, please take a look at the proposals. I would encourage both you and anyone else who may have concerns to lodge them with the planning department of Sheffield Council the reference is 12/01946/FUL. You can either email them (email@example.com), quoting the application reference or write to Development Services, Howden House, 1 Union Street, Sheffield S1 2SH, again quoting the reference.
At the present time I do not know the time scale for the application to go to a board, and as yet I don’t believe comments are being accepted as it is still being assessed by planning officer. I believe you should also be a statutory consultee on this application. Also I am not aware, as yet what the officers recommendation will be to members for the application.
My understanding of the proposal is that the company will remove the remaining coal in the land over a I believe a 4 year period starting at one side of the site and moving across. The washing plant, again part of the application will situated by the motorway. The land will kept wet to keep dust down and no traffic will be allowed to use Chapeltown. This is something I personally are concerned about. I also believe residents of Cowley need to be fully involved in the process if permission is granted. Noise will also have to kept to a minimum and monitored and work will only be allowed during the normal working hours.
As the coal is removed the land will be re-modelled and a country park created with new tree planting and paths installed. The land will then be opened up to the public(at the moment it is private property with no official access)
I look forward to meeting you on the 19th if you can make it, if not please do register your concerns.
Senior Parliamentary Assistant to Angela Smith MP
Member of Parliament for Penistone & Stocksbridge
t: 0207 219 3564 (Westminster)
t: 0114 283 1855(Constituency office)
m: 0790 452 1970
Constituency MP of the year 2011/12