We have no GP, the school is full but there is a nuclear fusion centre

EXCLUSIVE: Our ‘new town’ with 2,500 homes and 1,000 more to come has no GP, the school is full and the closest supermarket is 25 minutes away – but we do have a nuclear fusion centre

  • EXCLUSIVE: Residents on Waverley estate are furious at lack of infrastructure
  • An industrial estate with a nuclear fusion centre has been built but there’s no GP 

Residents of a ‘new town’ between Sheffield and Rotherham have blasted developers for failing to provide a GP, nearby shops and a big enough school despite there being thousands of homes – and even a nuclear fusion centre.

More than a decade ago, Harworth Group started to transform the Waverley estate – a former Orgreave coal mining site – into ‘Yorkshire’s largest ever mixed-use development’.

Since houses first started popping up in Catcliffe, South Yorkshire, in 2012, some 2,442 plots have been sold, 1,100 are occupied and a total of 3,890 will eventually be built – but locals have been driven made by the lack of promised infrastructure.

Their frustration has been compounded by the fact a £22million UK Atomic Energy Authority nuclear fusion centre has been built on their doorstep, while McLaren, Rolls Royce and Boeing have also set up bases on the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Ian Moreno-Melgar, 39, who moved on to the estate with his family four years ago, told MailOnline: ‘When you start looking into things, it is literally as far as we can tell, over and over again, a case of them just putting their bank balance ahead of other things.’

The secondary school teacher, who is married with two young daughters, said: ‘If I want to walk to any of the industrial units whatsoever, I can do any of those in five minutes. But if I want to go for a coffee, it’s 20. When I walk to the supermarket, it’s 20 or 25.’ 

Ian Moreno-Melgar (pictured with his children) moved onto the Waverley estate four years ago. He has been left majorly disappointed by the lack of promise infrastructure

Mr Moreno-Melgar is shocked that he has a nuclear fusion centre (pictured) on his doorstep but has to walk around 25 minutes to the nearest shop

Residents were sold a lakeside dining dream but the lake is fenced off and construction is still ongoing

A graphic to show the master plan from Harworth. There are still more houses to come on the 740-acre site

Pictures shared with MailOnline show how the stunning lake now has fencing around it, while one of the two playgrounds has been left abandoned and overgrown after the land was sold for more housing. 

READ MORE: Moment van crashes into a house after colliding with a car at an unmarked junction as locals on estate with lack of road markings say they live in ‘constant fear’ after spate of accidents 

Residents fear that ‘the infrastructure is creaking under the weight of expanding residential and industrial developments’ around them. There is only one Morrisons supermarket which is a long walk away for families doing big shops. 

On top of that, families are also fearing someone will be seriously injured or even killed due to nightmare junctions on the estate because there is a lack of markings and signs which has caused several crashes and near misses.

On Wednesday afternoon, after the concerning spike in crashes was highlighted, workmen were seen painting new road markings. 

For Mr Moreno-Melgar, the main frustration comes with the fact his four-year-old daughter cannot go to the purpose-built primary school because it is at capacity. 

Some 40 applicants, 27 of whom live on the Waverley estate, were turned away by the Waverley Junior Academy this year – the second year in a row there has been over-subscription.

‘We live 0.3 miles away and our daughter did not live close enough to make the cut-off for a place starting in September. It’s an absurd situation to be in,’ Mr Moreno-Melgar said.

The father added: ‘On a fundamental level, they’ve just prioritised profits over people, which means they’ve built houses rather than a school in time. 

‘And, you know… they built a nuclear fusion factory or research area before they built a shop.’

The Waverley estate, which will have a population of 9,000 people, sits between Rotherham and Sheffield

Fencing near to the stunning lake at the Waverley development. Residents are furious at the lack of infrastructure

Development continues to take place on the estate but basic provisions such as a GP have not yet been built

One of the two playgrounds on the estate has been abandoned after the land was sold off for more development

The playground has become overgrown with plants. Now families only have access to one playground

Mr Moreno-Melgar explained that education issues have stemmed from the delay to the primary school being built during the pandemic as houses continued to be sold, built and occupied.

He said that the ‘formula used to estimate how big the school needed to be was fundamentally wrong. ‘By the time the school was open it was too late-it was over-subscribed instantly,’ he said. 

‘The school takes in two classes (60 children) every year, and as a result at least 30 children a year cannot get into the school.’

Firas Miro, who became a Liberal Democrats councillor in 2021 to try and solve some of the infrastructure issues, told MailOnline that the Department of Education informed them it could not provide further funding to expand the school in Waverley because money had been allocated to schools based on pupil numbers.

Mr Miro, who has vowed to keep pushing until residents have the necessary infrastructure, said: ‘People have been promised facilities and school and things like that as far back as 2015 and even earlier, and they haven’t seen anything materialise until 2020. 

‘I would like to say I am making some progress but it’s nowhere what I would aspire to and what the residents believe is their right. I will keep pushing as much as I can.’ 

Harworth is continuing to transform the 740-acre estate in to a ‘new sustainable community’ which it says will contribute £1billion to the local economy as it looks to build a population of around 9,000 people. 

Action has been taken to change junctions after a spate of crashes due to a lack of road markings

Around 10 years ago, developers started to transform Waverley – a former coal Orgreave coal mining site – into ‘Yorkshire’s largest ever mixed-use development’

A view of the stunning lake on the 740-acre site. However, fencing has now gone up around it as development continues

More industrial units have been built near the houses but here there are no tenants to fill them

The developer also has plans to build a ‘new local town centre’ called Olive Lane – which it says will provide, ‘retail uses, a gym, offices, restaurants, cafes, supermarket, a medical centre, a community space, a bus hub, in addition to further residential units.’ 

Harworth has not yet had planning approved for Olive Lane but it has been given the green light to build a GP – although construction has not yet started and the earliest it will be built is September 2024. 

Residents feel they have been sold a dream which does not look like it will become a reality anytime soon. 

Mr Moreno-Melgar said: ‘It’s kind of astonishing really just how many houses there are… they want to basically build a new town between Rotherham and Sheffield.’

He added: ‘We were sold a vision of lakeside dining and shopping, gyms, bars and social areas, two schools, public transport links including bus and train station, sustainable and green developments with cycle paths and communal garden spaces and yet all of it is either cancelled, delayed or significantly shrunk.’ 

Families have also been left too scared to let their children go outside due to unmarked junctions which have caused a series of car crashes.

The Harworth Group insists that all highways and junctions on the estate have been designed and constructed to meet national highway requirements – but locals say a spate of accidents mean more should be done. 

The walk down to the beautiful lake has signage up warning residents of heavy machinery

The children’s playground has fencing by it for further development, sparking anger among families

Diggers can be seen as development continues. More houses are being built but residents are angry about the lack of infrastructure

Residents living close to the Highfield Lane unmarked junction say that they are worried for their children

New road markings have been put down following a spate of road crashes and near misses on the estate

In the last month alone, residents have seen a van forced into a house on Bradfield Way after a vehicle heading in the opposite direction ploughed into it at a junction and in April another accident saw a van lift a car out of the road following a side on collision.

Aparna Maruvada’s house was almost hit following a crash in April and she told the BBC she is now too scared to let her children play outside.

She said: ‘We live in constant fear every day, I stop my kids playing in the front garden, they can’t play here anymore.

‘They can’t cross the road here to go to the park because of the accidents and drivers speeding.’

Another mother and resident Jennifer Chaggar said that that the Highfield Lane junction was ‘unnegotiable’ and that she was worried for her daughter.

She said: ‘There have been numerous crashes at this junction caused by people being unable to turn or negotiate coming on to this main road.

‘I worry every single day that she is actually going to get to school safely and come back without being hurt.’

Harworth has seemingly responded to the pressure from residents by increasing signage around the junctions this week.

Harworth Group has been approached for comment by MailOnline. 

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