If you agree with us go onto the planning portal and register your thoughts. The deadline is very tight now (Monday 16thApril)
Our response is as follows:
In our original response to this application on 15 May 2019 Don Valley Railway Objected because:
- The layout did not allow pedestrian access between a potential Deepcar Rail Station site and Station Road, and,
- Not enough land for construction of a bus turning circle adjacent to the station site was made available, nor were alternative connecting bus facilities proposed, to allow a service connecting the station with the Deepcar / Stocksbridge urban area.
The applicant allocated a space by removing two proposed properties to create this access with 13 parking spaces. However they stated that this would be preserved for three years only to allow time for a proposal to be developed. If after this time a suitable proposition was not forthcoming they will revert to the previous layout with no pedestrian link. On 29 July 2019 we maintained this objection on ground the change was still inadequate and three years is not enough time.
I now respond to further information uploaded onto the application website on the 21 Feb 2020. This proposed a revised layout for the site with a one way bus route through the site serving the station. It also proposed removing the 13 parking spaces though keeping the space for the link between Station Road and the Station site.
However, no bus infrastructure, such as a bus layby, has been identified nor information establishing the suitability of the route. The proposed route appears to aim to meet the need of providing a bus service linking the new development better rather than a bus service linking the station with the wider Stocksbridge area. To confirm bus connectivity is suitable it would be necessary to either provide a bus turnaround at the station or give further details of how the service is scheduled and how this fits with a proposed train service plan.
To create a bus turnaround may be possible by the removal of one house on the plan (Plot 145). However it is not easy to ascertain if a bus service will meet the station’s need until the ongoing proposal for the station and line is completed.
Further to this, Sheffield City Region included proposals on this route as part of the SCR Rail Reinstatement Study. Following this on 31 July 2019 Network Rail recommended that sufficient land should remain to be allocated for the development of a station site to align with planning horizons up to 2033.
Since this, further proposals have been developed as part of the Government’s ‘Restoring Your Railway’ initiative and an expression of interest in re-opening the line has been submitted by Sheffield City Region. We would therefore wish to receive further information from the developer giving further assurances that the development can be accommodated alongside rail proposals before removing our objection.
To conclude, as stated in our 29 July submission, we want suitable facilities at the station site for onward journeys including by bus, we want the site protected indefinitely rather than for just three years, and we want the Transport Assessment to consider the benefits of a rail facility.
Co-ordinated alongside the proposal to Government for the line’s re-opening, Stocksbridge is set to receive £25 million funding through the Towns Fund. Don Valley Railway has a place on the board of this project. Alongside our rail-related aspirations other infrastructure projects will be more effective if further work takes place and further engagement takes place between the developer (Bloors) and all Towns Fund projects. We would therefore welcome enough time to allow proper co-ordination with other local initiatives to take place before a decision is reached on this application. This will enable the long-term better future-proofing of the development and allow money from the Towns Fund to go further and at the same time contribute to the attractiveness of the development.