Government back plan for ex-pit development in Waverley

Artist's impression of the new development The government's decision was said to be "reassuring"

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Plans to develop former mining land between Rotherham and Sheffield have been supported by the government.

The £100m project is planned for the former 230 hectare Orgreave open cast site in Waverley and land off Highfield Spring, Catcliffe.

The site at Waverley was one of Europe's biggest mining operations and is bigger than Sheffield city centre.

The two planning applications propose 4,000 houses, shops, a hotel, retail and leisure facilities.

The applications will now be considered by Rotherham Borough Council.

The applications were initially considered at Rotherham's Planning Board in January but under planning regulations had to be sent to the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber for consideration.

Complex plans

Members of the board agreed to support the outline application by Harworth Estates for a new community at Waverley - the former 230 hectare Orgreave open cast site owned by UK Coal.

They also supported a second application for offices, a hotel, retail and leisure facilities for Helical Governetz on land off Highfield Spring, Catcliffe.

The authority said they had received confirmation from the government that they would allow the council to decide whether to grant planning permission.

Bronwen Peace, Rotherham's planning manager, said that the plans were the largest, most complex, planning applications ever considered by Rotherham. She said the government's decision was "reassuring".

Councillor David Pickering, chair of the Rotherham Planning Board, said: "The reclamation of this former opencast mine is almost complete, lakes have been created on site for drainage purposes and public access around the site is already available.

"But now we can look forward to issuing the permission and dealing with future detailed applications."

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