Road scheme scuppered by vote to protect fields

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JUBILANT residents popped open the bubbly to mark news their Sheffield playing fields are to be protected from a proposed road scheme.

Woodhouse Mill residents gathered at the site, off Retford Road, to celebrate after Sheffield Council, which owns the pitches, decided to support the bid for the area to be declared a Field in Trust.

The status means the fields cannot be developed – scuppering plans by Rotherham Council to build a link road through the site between Retford Road and the new Waverley township at Orgreave.

Derek Hutchinson, of Watch Street said: “We are celebrating the news that our field can enter into the Fields in Trust initiative where it will be protected.

“However, until the dedication of deeds is officially signed over, we will continue to campaign against the road plans.”

Rotherham Council said its bid for Government funding was still under consideration and it has not yet decided its response to Sheffield Council’s decision.

Councillors will have to make a formal decision about whether to abandon the scheme.

Karl Battersby, Rotherham Council’s strategic director for environment and development services, said: “We are obviously aware of Sheffield Council’s wish to dedicate the site as part of the Fields in Trust initiative.

“But we would point out the playing fields would remain as part of the proposed Waverley Link Road scheme because the route was planned for the edge of the site.

He added: “We maintain the Waverley Link Road and its route offered the best and most affordable solution to traffic congestion in an area of Rotherham and Sheffield, which is due to see both increased residential and business development.

He said the new road would have reduced traffic.