..as Council prepares to oppose development plans for former Sugar Works on Boroughbridge Road
Planning committee Councillors voted last night to approve a proposal to demolish the Carlton Tavern and replace it with an elderly care facility. Ironically the decision was taken on the casting vote of a Chairman who would not have been in that position had he not been arbitrarily removed from his Executive post in September by the Council Leader. With a different Chair, the decision might have gone the other way, although the applicants would no doubt feel that they would have had a good chance of winning the inevitable subsequent appeal.
Next up, in an important series of planning decisions pending on the Acomb side of the City, is consideration of plans for the Sugar Works and former Manor school site on Boroughbridge Road.
The Council has dithered for over 3 years in getting this, apparently ideal, brown field housing site off the drawing board. The owners finally lost patience and have appealed to the Secretary of State to intervene on grounds of “non-determination” by the York Council. The planning application was first submitted in 2014.
Bizarrely the Planning committee must now formally say whether they would have approved the application had it been presented to them.
They are being asked to consider “the development of the site comprising up to 1,100 residential units, community uses (D1/D2) and new public open space with details of access (to include new access points at Millfield Lane and Boroughbridge Road and a new link road, crossing the Former Manor School Site) and demolition of the Former Manor School buildings”
Officials are recommending that the proposal be opposed.
They list many deficiencies in the plan while acknowledging that the site was slated for housing development in the Draft Local Plan tabled in 2011 (by the then LibDem led Council), by the Labour Council in their 2014 Draft Local Plan and again by the new Coalition administration last year.
The main reasons for refusing the application are listed as:
- Inadequate financial contributions toward pre-school, primary school, secondary school funding and off-site sports provision
- The absence of any affordable housing
There has been a lot of talk recently about allocating the former Manor School playing field as a public park. In 2012 the then Labour controlled Council identified the need for a more central area of public open space as part of a “community hub” on the site.
Over 9 ha is identified in the current proposals for this purpose (In addition an “off site” new cricket pitch will be provided).
In 2013 the Council sold the former Manor School site, including the playing fields, to ABF – the current planning applicants. The sale was not conditional.
At the very least, the planning meeting should determine whether centralised or peripheral open space is the desired way forward for this development.
NB Proposals to develop the Lowfields playing fields will go before the Planning committee in January.
Applications are also expected soon for the former Oakhaven elderly persons home site on Acomb Road, the adjacent police buildings and for the redevelopment of Windsor House in Ascot Way