Concern over the condition of a building on West Road

30 10 2013

park billboardThe residents’ association has taken a keen interest in the area around West Road over the past couple of years.  A year ago this week,  we began transforming what the Barnsley Chronicle used to call a ‘wasteland’ into a park for Pogmoor. On the West Road boundary, we planted 20 foot trees, thousands of bulbs and seeds to form a wild flower meadow on the mound preventing vehicular access to the field.

Opposite the park, on the other side of West Road, there are a number of small business premises.  Most of these are in good repair and contribute to the improving appearance of the area.  A couple of the sites seem to be more neglected.  On one of them, there is a derelict building with an asbestos roof.  Asbestos is fine when the roof is in good repair and only becomes a hazard when its condition deteriorates and starts to flake. This building appears to have been partially demolished and the state of the roof is now a cause for concern. There is some evidence of people getting into the site and throwing objects on the roof.

Asbestos roof on West Road

Asbestos roof on West Road


West Road Park Project updates

21 09 2012

The latest news can be followed #pogmoorpark on Twitter.

5th November

The Woodland Trust Community Tree Pack arrived today.  The 105 saplings are just over a foot tall.  What a contrast to the 20 foot trees we planted last weekend!

3rd November

Another fine morning.  The remaining 17 trees were planted by volunteers from the community working alongside young people from the Youth Offending Team. At lunchtime, everyone enjoyed refreshments – delicious soup, home-made scones and tea and coffee.

2nd November

After overnight rain, we were fortunate that it was a bright dry Autumn morning today as we started planting the mature trees.  A dozen volunteers made short work of the first sixteen trees.

31 October

The Speaker of the House of Commons planted the Woodland Trust’s first jubilee oak tree today at Westminster.  Ours will be planted by Dan Jarvis MP next weekend.

25 October

The 33 mature trees were delivered on Thursday 25th October. The lorry tried several times to get to the bottom of Cresswell Street, but was prevented by cars parked on both sides of the road.  Eventually, at the third attempt, the driver was guided past the cars, as he reversed up Cresswell Street from West Road.

The trees were much taller than we expected. They are all approximately 20 foot high.  It was fortunate that so many volunteers turned up to lift them to the store as they weighed more than expected as well.

23 October

Had a great meeting with the Community Enterprise Co-ordinator at Horizon Community College to discuss the project.  We are delighted that a group of students from the college are going to join us at the planting sessions.

12 October

We are delighted to announce that Dan Jarvis MP will mark the completion of the first phase development of the park by planting the Queen’s jubilee tree for us on Saturday 10 November at 2 pm.  All are welcome to come and watch this ceremony. Dan was involved in early discussions regarding environmental improvements on West Road and chaired a consultation meeting about it in July, 2011.  The Queen’s jubilee oak tree has been awarded to us by the Woodland Trust along with 105 other saplings.  These are being allocated to community groups to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

10 October

Great progress tonight on planning the sequence of 30 mature trees to be planted in #pogmoorpark adjacent to West Rd

9 October

@pogmoorara: “Great news. The 37 mature trees have been ordered for our new#pogmoorpark. Many thanks #Barnsley council.”  Here is the list of trees included in the order:

Tilia – Silver lime

Carpinus – Hornbeam

14 Acer platanoides – Norway maple

Acer platanoides – Norway maple (Royal Red)

3 October

@pogmoorara: “Great meeting tonight planning where we are going to place the 139 trees in November in #Pogmoor’s newest park #pogmoorpark”

1 October

@pogmoorara: “Very grateful to the local volunteers offering to help us plant 4000 bulbs & 139 trees in our new park”.

29 September

This is the current state of the wild flower meadow area.  Following spraying, it’s now turning brown and will soon be ready for seeding.

21 September

The wild flower has been ordered and the area has now been sprayed.  The orders for the bulbs and trees will be placed shortly.  The likely planting schedule is as follows:

By 2nd November: The Council will have bored out 33 holes and delivered 33 mature trees to site

2-4 November: Mature trees’ planting weekend

9 November: Start planting 4,000 bulbs that will bring colour from February through to June!

10-11 November: Woodland Trust saplings’ planting weekend.

16-18 November: Mop-up weekend for any remaining planting

If you would like to volunteer to be a park maker, giving an hour or more of your time to help plant the trees or bulbs, please contact us at

15 September

We have withdrawn our application to Wren.  They had awarded us approximately £7,000 for the trees and wild flower maedow but stipulated that we needed to find £7,ooo for the heritage part of the project.  We will re-apply again in November with a revised bid.

11 September

We have received confirmation from the Woodland Trust that we will receive a community tree pack of 105 saplings w/c 5th November, 2012.  The pack will comprise of 30 rowan, 15 hawthorn, 15 hazel, 15 silver birch, 15 wild cherry, 15 dogwood plus a royal jubilee oak.  This indigenous selection will provide all-round colour in our new park.

We are very grateful to Woodland Trust for their support. You can join the Woodland Trust here.

Our proposed West Road project

25 02 2012


At a meeting with residents on 15 September, 2011, a list of suggested improvements to the local environment around West Road were identified.  This topic was then discussed regularly at Pogmoor Residents’ Association committee meetings. As a result, a plan was drawn up to address many of the suggested improvements by converting the field behind Cresswell Street, the site of the former quarry where the RAF bomber crashed in World War Two, into a park, with trees screening many of the unsightly features round the perimeter of the field.  This plan was produced in partnership with the landowner, Barnsley Council.

Our proposal

The proposal was presented to local residents at a public meeting on Thursday 23rd February, 2012.  The main features are:

1. A 2 metre-long hedge at the entrance to the field on West Road, moving the ‘pathway’ into the field from being adjacent to the back gardens of the houses in Cresswell Street to a point further from the housing.  This is marked in blue on the map above.

2. The remainder of the boundary of the field on West Road features a mound to prevent vehicular access.  The mound will be transformed into a wild flower meadow. Examples of wild flower meadows planted in other urban areas can be found here. The meadow will provide spectacular colours throughout the summer.  In addition, 4000 bulbs will planted in this area.  This will be a mixture of snowdrops, bluebells, crocuses and daffodils, ensuring that area will be in colour from February until the Autumn.  The wild flower meadow is marked in blue on the map.

3. A line of 13 mature, indigenous trees will be planted just behid the wildflower meadow to obscure some of the ‘unsightly’ industrial units on the south side of West Road.

4. A community orchard,  initially containing 12 fruit trees, will be planted in front of the allotments’ fence.

5. A line of 15 mature trees will be planted parallel to the Royston Lead fence.  These trees will be a few metres away from the fence and should improve the appearance of the boundary of the park.  (Note that the trees are not shown to scale on the map!)

6. Finally, close to the point at which the warplane crashed into the former quarry, a hard-standing area in the shape of a Whitley bomber will be formed in recycled material. It is possible that this could become the de-facto place in Pogmoor to remember those who lost their lives in times of war.  We had proposed to place twp memorial benches at this site but have been persuaded by Cresswell Street residents to remove these from the plan.

We have been advised to include a contingency amount to cover any trees vandalised in the first year.  This amount is sufficient to purchase 12 extra trees.  If there are fewer acts of vandalism than this, these trees will be planted towards the end of the first year.

Funding the project

Thetotal  cost of this scheme is  approximately £16,000.  A bid is being prepared for submission to to Wren for approximately £13,000.  We are shortly going to submit a bid to Old Town Community First panel for a £2,500 contribution to the total.  Finally, we have submitted an application to the Woodland Trust for  a free community tree pack in celebration of the Queen’s jubilee. This pack contains 20 of each silver birch, rowan, wild cherry plus a royal oak sapling.

Planting the flowers and trees

Most of the activity on the park will take place in the Autumn, as we are advised that this is the best time to plant the trees.  We are in discussion with the Council’s Youth Offending Team to seek help from them to prepare the land and plant trees.  It is also likely that local schools will be invited to help plant the bulbs in the wild flower meadow. However, there will still be a need to further volunteers from with the community as we attempt to plant 40 trees over a weekend.  Anyone wishing to volunteer to be involved, please email us at

Letters of supoport received

Barnsley District General Hospital




Please leave your comments on the scheme on this page.  We would be grateful for any words of support as this page will be sent as evidence in our bid for funding.

West Road Project

16 09 2011

A packed house at the Travellers’ Rest on Thursday 15th September, 2011 discussed improvements that could be made in the short-term to improve the living environment around West Road.  The discussion was led by the West Road area residents but the local MP, Dan Jarvis, and the three ward councillors, Anita Cherryholme, Bill Gaunt and Penny Lofts, were also present to offer support to the West Road project.

The list of potential improvements identified at the meeting is as follows:

  1. Clear up the graffiti on the walls of the businesses
  2. Sweep up the debris on West Road
  3. Reduce the problems caused by hospital workers and others parking in this area
  4. Some of the yellow lines are not continuous – these need painting
  5. The driving centre has landscaped outside of the front of their land.  It would good if the other landowners could to do the same.
  6. The metal fence by Royston Lead needs landscaping
  7. West Road attracts young drinkers at unsocial hours.  This might be due to the proximity of the garage selling late-night alcohol. These drinkers should be encouraged to move on.
  8. Some drivers and motor cyclists speed down Pogmoor Road into West Road.  Measures should be taken to dissuade them from pursuing this activity.
  9. The south side of West Road would look more pleasant if the landowners erected some screening at the front of their industrial sites or painted their walls.
  10. There is fly tipping in the alley at the rear of Cresswell Street.  This needs removing and taking action to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.
  11. There is a rat population at the back of the allotments.  This needs investigating.
  12.  The open land adjoining West Road could be look more appealing if some trees and flowers were planted.

Each of these requirements has its own page on this site.  Please click on the link to view the discussion of this issue and to see the action that has been taken to date.  Current actions include:

  • the councillors are investigating how the council can hep with some of these issues
  • potential external funding is being searched for
  • fund raising events are being considered – more news on this shortly

The progress made on some of these items was discussed with residents at a meeting on Thursday 13th October, 2011.

Our proposal to convert the field adjoining West Road and Cresswell Street into a park, which will address some of the points raised above, was presented and discused at a public meeting in the Traveller’s Rest on Thursday 23rd February 2012.

West Road Site – meeting with Dan Jarvis

8 07 2011

 The public meeting to discuss the future of West Road, organised by Dan Jarvis, took place on Wednesday 20th July, 2011 in Barnsley Central library.

The meeting was well-attended, with approx 40-50 people present.  This included many local residents, landowners and all the Old Town councillors.  Dan Jarvis was accompanied by his constituency manager and a planning officer from the council.  A wide variety of views were aired and all who wanted to speak had the opportunity.

Dan Jarvis summed up his thoughts of the meeting on Twitter as follows:

“Very pleased with West Rd, Pogmoor Public Meeting. Really great so many people came & joined in good, constructive discussion. Thanks all.”

Local residents might hold a range of opinions as to what they would like to happen to the south side of West Road.  But surely few would disagree that we need to join with the people who live in West Road and Cresswell Street in their quest to improve their local environment.

Planning Board refuses planning permission for West Road

5 07 2011

The Planning Regulatory Board met this afternoon in the central library. The second-fourth items on the agenda were the three applications for outline permission to develop some of West Road as a mixed-use site.

The meeting took place in the lecture theatre, with the chair and officers on the platform, the members of the board in a u-shaped arrangement below the platform, looking at plans appearing on a large projector screen. The public area at the back of the room was packed, with approximately 40 people, who were there to watch the progress of three different applications.

When the West Road applications were heard, Vicky Simpson spoke first, followed by a resident who supported her applications. After this Joe Jenkinson, from Planning, presented the case against the applications, making the points outlined in the officer’s report. Several councillors then raised matters relating to the plans.

When a vote was called for, two councillors abstained, with the rest voting to refuse the applications.

Most of the points discussed were quite technical and not particularly easy to follow. However, in conclusion, the Board felt that proposals to develop the south side of West Road for housing/mixed uses should not be considered prior to the adoption of the Sites & Places Development Plan Document, which forms part of the newly-introduced Local Development Framework. The Sites & Places document will take a fresh look at which sites should allocated for employment and which should be made available for housing. The timetable for introducing this is: approval by the council cabinet in the Autumn followed by consultation after that. Many of us will be interested to read, and comment on, this plan. And many of us will be interested to find out how we influence what the plan says for the south side of West Road.

West Rd Planning applications – Planner’s recommend refusal

29 06 2011

The planning applications for West Road go before the Planning Regulatory Board next Tuesday.  The planning officer’s recommendations have been made public today.  As suggested on this website on Sunday, by a Pogmoor resident, the recommendation to the Board is to refuse permission for this outline planning application.

The previous application, for a gypsy site, attracted 200+ objections from local people.  Interestingly, this time, local opinion was not against the applications in principle.  Eighteen residents wrote letters of support for the scheme and just two objections were received.

The reasons given for recommending refusal are as follows:

  1. Employment land – Barnsley Council’s core strategy calls for 350ha of employment land, with 130-155ha in urban Barnsley.  This site fails the criteria for change of use from employment land to mixed-use.  This is because it is judged that it will result in job losses from adjacent land (due to restrictions on it caused by having housing nearby) and because there is already a lack of employment land locally.
  2. Piecemeal development – The applicant would have been better advised to have submitted one overall plan rather than three separate plans.  There is concern that the overall plan might not come to fruition.  Furthermore, there is no precident for the piecemeal re-development of a wider employment area. However, the applicant has been advised to seek re=designation of the whole of this side of West Rd as residential when the new Sites and Places Development Strategy is adopted by the council.
  3. Suitability for employment use – The applicant argues that this site can no longer support employment use.  The officer disagrees, stating that this is a prime location between the town centre and the motorway.  Most of it is at a lower level than surrounding houses, restricting its impact upon them.
  4. Suitability for residential use – It would be suitable if the whole of that side of the road was re-designated as residential.  With the current, piecemeal approach, the residential element does not meet the quality criteria in the planning strategy.

Assuming that the Planning Board adopts the recommendations of the planning officer, and refuses these applications, where does that leave us?

As the officer points out in his report:
“This is a dirty industrial/skip yard/waste transfer station at the heart of a densely-populated residential location.  Keeping the site in its existing use would result in environmental problems.”
Your comments would be appreciated.