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YES! project gets the go-ahead

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The £270m YES! entertainment and sports complex in South Yorkshire has finally received planning permission.

The 327-acre (132-hectare) project had been referred to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minster (ODPM) because the proposed site for the development encroaches on the region’s Green Belt.

However, last week, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) received notification from the ODPM stating: “Having carefully considered the relevant planning issues raised by this proposal, the secretary of state has concluded that her intervention would not be justified.”

Steve Lewis, CEO of the project’s developer, Oak Holdings, said: “This approval has come some months in advance of our expectations. It is very rare that projects of this size are not called in for government consideration and we are delighted that the government has given RMBC the power to grant the YES! project planning permission, having already received confirmation of their support earlier this year.

“Despite some hurdles, such as sourcing funding and tenants, we are confident that construction on site could soon be underway, bringing significantly enhanced environmental benefits to the area. The site, as it stands now, is contaminated but the proposed development will offer a more natural habitat, allowing greater public access through the expansion of jogging routes, footpaths and a cycle network.”

Councillor Roger Stone, leader of RMBC, added: “The YES! project will bring benefits to the whole of Yorkshire and Humber, promoting the area as a prime leisure, tourism and sporting destination. I’d like to thank the other three South Yorkshire councils for helping us bring YES! to this stage. Now let’s get on with the job of making it real!”

The scheme will boast more than one million sq ft (93,000sq m) of leisure amenities including a four-star resort hotel and spa, a three-star family oriented hotel, an Olympic-standard canoe slalom, an extreme sports centre, as well as numerous bars and restaurants.

Architects CZWG and Holder Mathias formed a joint venture to design the project.

Venture Xtreme UK will be responsible for the extreme sports facilities and The Baydrive Group will open a golf driving centre. Details: www.oakholdings.co.uk

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The £270m YES! entertainment and sports complex in South Yorkshire has finally received planning permission.
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