Barnsley planners are recommending approval for the development of 139 new homes off Hartcliff Road in Penistone. They are also backing three other schemes totalling 29 homes in Penistone and Ingbirchworth and conversion of the historic Penistone Coal Drops.

The Hartcliff scheme, which sparked a major campaign about housing in the area, has attracted 140 individual objections from Penistone Town Council, three borough councillors and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. MP Angela Smith also expressed concern.

The houses would include two to five-bedroomed homes and 21 of these would be “affordable”. Traffic signals are proposed on Chapel Lane to control the extra traffic.

Objectors said the scheme would put an unacceptable additional load on the local infrastructure, went against the Penistone Community Plan, threatened green belt and the character of the town, and was premature, considering work is still going on to develop a Local Plan for the area.

Planning officials say the developers should fund a formal play area, pay £940,000 for affordable housing schemes elsewhere and contribute £189,000 towards additional school places.

They add that while the development has some drawbacks, these are outweighed by the benefits, such as helping to meet Barnsley’s target of 21,000 new homes (1100 of them in Penistone), providing a satisfactory mix of house types and meeting other council policies.

Officials are also recommending approval of a scheme to convert the Coal Drops at St Mary’s Street, Penistone, to shops and offices, the conversion of Regency House to consulting rooms, the demolition of the former workshop and erection of 15 houses, with 2 incorporating work units on the site, and they are supporting plans for 3 houses at Wellhouse Lane, Penistone, and 13 at Wellthorne Lane, Ingbirchworth.

The Planning Board will decide on all the schemes on June 24.