Developers submit plans which could threaten the future of Askham Bog.
Developers are seeking “outline planning permission (with all matters reserved except for means of access) for up to 516 residential units (Class C3) with local centre (Use Classes A1-A4, B1a, C3, D1) public open space with pavilion and associated infrastructure and full application for demolition of existing buildings and structures and creation of ecological protection and enhancement zone”.
The location is on Moor Lane “OS Fields 5475 7267 And 8384 Moor Lane Acomb York” Click this Reference for full details 18/02687/OUTM
The application went “live” on the Councils “planning on line” web site only yesterday. Objections have to be lodged by 9th January with a statutory expiry date of 30th January.
Some believe that the application has been timed to coincide with the busy festive season when resident’s attention is distracted.
The proposal is highly controversial.
Sir David Attenborough said during a visit to the site in 2016,
“If someone was proposing to put a building site next to York Minster there would be an outcry. This is a treasure that is irreplaceable.
“The citizens of York are lucky to have it on their doorstep and it is their responsibility to look after it.”
A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust spokesperson said the bog was a remarkable survivor of the ancient fenlands of Yorkshire, a ‘wonderful mosaic of fen, woodland and meadow,’ occupying the site of an ancient lake left behind by a retreating glacier 15,000 years ago.
The present Council specifically took the step of excluding the Moor Lane area from the development plans when it published its Local Plan. In 2 months time an independent inquiry will take place into the Plan.
It seems that the developers want to “bounce” a decision on the proposal before the formal Local Plan can be adopted.
They may be hoping that Labour will regain control of the York Council at the local elections which are taking place in May 2019. When Labour were last in power, they slated Moor Lane and other areas of Green Belt for development.
These decisions were revoked in 2015 by the new coalition administration.
Unfortunately the present Council is also guilty of pre-judging the Local Plan having succeeded recently in “bouncing” a plan to develop playing fields at Lowfields through the planning system. They did so before residents had the opportunity to voice their views at the public inquiry.
Opposition to the proposals is being coordinated by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Click this link to go to their website www.ywt.org.uk