A refined set of plans which would see significant changes
in the area around York Minster have
A copy of the prospectus can be downloaded fromthis link
The proposals are both ambitious and respectful tot eh
heritage of both the Cathedral itself and the surrounding City.
They include a new “Queen Elisabeth Square” adjacent to the west end of the Minster. This is a welcome move towards the pedestrianisation of Duncombe Place. A vehicular access route – which will apparently still accommodate the Railway museums “Disney” train – has been retained.
The role of Deans Park as a quiet part of the City centre has been respected.
Likely to be more controversial – with the devil being in
the detail – are plans for new buildings in the area where Constantine currently
sits. The Roman will be rehoused further down Deangate, where he will be joined
by a statute of Queen Elisabeth II
A separate Deangate cycle
track is planned ending the present shared space arrangement with pedestrians. Access
only restrictions will be enforced ending the visits of parents to the entrance
to the Minster School. They will have a separate drop off point at the end of Duncombe
Place. The school itself will get enhanced facilities.
St Williams College will be brought back into use – not before time – and will accommodate Minster office staff. It is an old building, with an arcane layout, so good look to them with that.
The existing Church House administration offices will be
converted into flats which will be rented out.
There are plans to develop the Deanery garages as residential
accommodation for workers.
That may not suit everyone and there are some potentially awkward interfaces with the surrounding community. The new square, for example, doesn’t seem to make the best of the possible linkages to Stonegate.
But overall the proposals represent good progress and are being
progressed in an inclusive way which reflects well on their authors.
Responses to the consultation can be made via this link The consultation closes on 16th June 2019.
No, not a reference to the influence of the Green Party.
More the steady advance of weeds on amenity paving areas, back lanes, snickets and on footpaths. Weed growth is heavily influenced by weather conditions, of course, but the Council doesn’t help by being secretive about when they have scheduled weed treatments for this year. Treatment hasn’t always been effective in the past.
Works have started on the demolition of the bowling green buildings on Front Street. Planning permission was granted last year which allows developers to build 10 houses there.
The proposals were highly controversial as they ruled out a coordinated development which would have secured the future of the Council owned land (former allotments) to the rear of the library car park as well as the open aspect at the back of Chancery Court. A holistic approach was favoured by those residents who completed anopinion survey.
The planning committee inexplicably agreed a Section 106 contribution to the provision of alternative sports/green space facilities but at a site located in the Holgate area.
Now local residents are complaining about the noise and disturbance being caused by the contractors. It has been suggested that the contractors are trespassing on the Council owned land, which itself has a nature conservation role.
Residents have called on local Councillors to take action to ensure that the contractors respect the amenity of neighbouring properties
The future of the former allotments site needs to be clarified quickly by the Council which has owned it for over 10 years.
It was slated to be an extension to the library incorporating a “pocket park” to retain a green aspect for the benefit of the Front Street area.
However no progress has been made on that project.
A national research organisation has published statistics which is claims means there are still pockets of “child poverty” in the City.
The new LibDem led Council will be expected to make an early difference in this area.
We have long campaigned for the York Council to devote more resources to improving public services in poorer neighbourhoods. The symptoms of derivation include lower life expectancy levels and poor health. The latter is often connected to the availability of healthy living facilities and advice. Obesity levels in children are also an issue in many areas.
The report published by “End Child Poverty” uses national data to estimate the likelihood of child poverty in each ward in the City.
This data is tabulated. Hull road, Guildhall and Westfield are the three most vulnerable areas.
York is far from being the most needy
City in the country.
….but there is sufficient objective and anecdotal evidence to suggest that local policies are failing.
The new Council could make a start by withdrawing the threat to build on open spaces and sports facilities in the Westfield area.
The Lowfield Action Group Facebook page makes it clear that residents have major concerns about the current development works in the area.
There are continuing complaints about noise, dust and working hours extending beyond those approved in the planning permission.
Communications from the Council have been minimal although another exhibition is promised prior to the main contractor starting on site. The current contractor is only undertaking clearance and layout works.
One piece of good news is that work on providing an additional 3 parking spaces on Tudor Road is due to start next week.
The Council latest planning application, which should have been determined by the end of April, it is still outstanding.
There is still no sign of a planning application for the Care Home much less the health centre and “police station”, not that they were ever likely to materialise anyway.
“Yorspace” are apparently still trying to raise funds for their “communal living” scheme while the Councils decision to sell them land at a discounted rate may yet prove to have been illegal.
Hopefully the new Council will be able to find someone competent and sensitive to local residents views when they decide who will lead on housing and planning matters for the next 4 years.
Certainly communication and supervisory systems need major improvements.