4th year of the Enable Project – helping vulnerable people in their community.

On Wednesday 8th August young volunteers will be giving up their time to make over the garden of an older resident in the city of York.

The makeover is the 19th Enable project to take place in the 4 years since the scheme was launched. The initiative is a partnership between City of York Council’s specialist housing advice service and SASH, a Youth Homeless Charity that provides accommodation and support to young people. It partners young people from SASH with older people who may be struggling with jobs in and around their homes.

The young people will be making over the garden of Mr Richards, aged 83, of Acomb; and will be trimming, digging, mending, pruning and tidying to transform it into a more manageable space in which Mr Richards will be able to enjoy the summer.

Driver shortages blamed again as more bins not emptied by York Council.

The York Council has issued the following statement;

“Today crews have collected the vast majority of scheduled household, recycling and garden waste.

We have however been unable to collect green waste from some areas due to driver shortages. Areas affected are:

• Fulford South ( Fordlands Road area )
• Naburn
• Elvington

We will endeavour to recollect these bins on Saturday 11th August.

We have also been unable to collect household waste from some sections of the below streets because of blocked access by badly parked cars;

• ‘The Covert’ Hunters Way, off Tadcaster Road
• New Walk Terrace
• Lower Ebor Street

We hope to collect any outstanding waste from these streets tomorrow; therefore please leave your waste it in place and we will collect. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience”.

Imaginative design plan for York Central has flaws

Councillors will today be asked to approve design plans for the York Central site. The area behind the station has been ripe for redevelopment for nearly 2 decades now as the demands of the rail industry have reduced.

York central  is a large and hugely expensive site to develop but has the advantage of being close to intercity transport links and a City centre which boasts a full range of amenities.

The design guide springs from a comprehensive public consultation process which managed in the end to avoid the obvious dangers of raising unaffordable expectations.

The design guide rightly concentrates on the impact that a dense, and relatively tall, development will have on the rest of the City. It passes that test and goes on to tell a convincing story about street and layout potential. It may be a little short on iconic USPs although the idea of an old steam train running through the site will appeal to many.

But perhaps the approach does tend to be “all things to all men”.

It talks of a large increase in office space at a time when the City has full employment and some empty office units. A report implies that the York Council might underwrite some of the new floorspace space. But the Council is already doing so at the Community Stadium site while the £12 million white elephant business centre at the Guildhall had still to find tenants.

The main issue may prove to be access and transport.

Even footpath links between the Carlton St area and the City centre look – for most of the evening – to be longer than currently is possible. The one-way system to benefit cyclists through the Leeman Road tunnel has also (rightly) been vilified.

The development partners will have to find funding for a discrete pedestrian/cycle bridge over the railway line – a solution which might also address other permeability issues and might even provide an alternative route for the Railway Museums “Disney” train which currently obstructs general traffic routes in the City centre.

The design guide refers to parking space provision at “up to 1 space” per house (0.45 spaces per flat). This suggest that many cars will be parked “off-site”.  The Council will need to be clear whether this would be at a peripheral on-site location or at a sub-urban park and ride site (with its security implications).

The design guide fails to address other transport needs such as recharging/refuelling points for electric/hydrogen buses. Indeed, the guide is weak on public transport infrastructure requirements generally.

In the main though, the guide does address the main planning issues and is a welcome step forward for the project.

Whether the actual planning applications can be faithful to the concept, and remain affordable, may become clearer later in the year.

Arsonist around again this year

Last year we had a potentially serious incident on Askham Lane when arsonists set fire to a wheat field.

Unfortunately the same thing seems to have happened again this year with the Fire Brigade (NYFR) were called to a similar incident on Saturday. They dealt with it promptly.

Given the extended dry spell that we have had the consequences could have been devastating.

So if anyone has any information, or spots any suspicious behaviour, then please contact the Police (999 if an incident is in progress, 101 if it is to pass on information).

Also on Askham Lane (rural section) there has been more dumping. We have reported it.

Fire and rescue on Foxwood Lane this weekend

Fire damaged field in 2017

Sellers house market in Westfield and Dringhouses

New on line site says YO24 postcode area amongst 10 “hottest” neighbourhoods in Yorkshire

The https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/propcast/ web site ranks neighbourhoods ranked on how easy it is to sell a property in the area.

The Heworth area is also regarded as “hot” as are parts of Sheffield.

The separate “Mouseprice” index records some recent sales. They include:

Address Sold price Sold date Type
18, The Gallops, YO24 3NF £226,000 22 May 2018 3 bed detached
22, Otterwood Lane, YO24 3JR £250,000 24 Apr 2018 4 bed detached
10, Minter Close, YO24 3FA £190,000 20 Apr 2018 2 bed semi-D
12, Tedder Road, YO24 3JB £257,000 29 Mar 2018 3 bed detached
149a, Askham Lane, YO24 3HH £275,000 14 May 2018 4 bed detached
13, Huntsmans Walk, YO24 3LD £217,500 03 May 2018 2 bed detached
48, Lowick, YO24 2RF £165,000 20 Apr 2018 2 bed terraced
37, St Stephens Road, YO24 3EH £198,000 02 May 2018 3 bed terraced
10, Alness Drive, YO24 2XZ £305,000 13 Apr 2018 4 bed detached
95, Stuart Road, YO24 3AJ £175,000 27 Apr 2018 3 bed terraced

There are still some bargains around. A one bedroomed flat in Gresley Court is available for £100,000 while a, chain free, two bedroomed house on Gladstone Street is available for £155,000

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Plans could bring more traffic problems to Ascot Way

Below is the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

There are two linked applications, which could have a major impact on the Green Lane/Kingsway West/Ascot Way part of the Westfield ward, published this week.

In effect part of the existing Hob Moor School playing field will be built on because of a plan to provide a centre for disabled children on the site currently occupied by Windsor House.

A compensatory school sports field will be provided on an area of land, adjacent to Hob Moor, which is currently left in a natural state. Improvements to the remaining nature reserve are promised.

The most controversial aspects of the children’s centre plan relate to traffic, parking and the development timetable.

Contrary to expectations, all traffic will access the children’s centre site via Ascot Way.

An (unconvincing) traffic assessment report says this can be accommodated on the existing highway network. The reports appear not to consider the fact that Kingsway West is a “no through road” and that existing bends in Ascot Way already make it difficult for wide vehicles to pass each other. Despite this, officials talk of several mini buses accessing the new development each day. Mini buses already access the adjacent parking areas at the school. They are adequate to meet the needs of the new centre.

The Council’s transport consultants also appear to have a romantic view of the ability of the number 24 bus service to accommodate additional demand. No attempt has been made to provide a more suitable (off street) bus stop on Ascot Way.

Only 15 parking spaces will be provided at the Children’s Centre, which will employ 42 staff.

The applications are silent on the timetable for development.

Residents have already said that it would be wrong for building works to be taking place at both this site and the nearby Newbury Avenue garage site development at the same time. Plant and lorries from two sites would further damage an environment that has yet to recover from the extended development at Hob Stones and recent “broadband” excavations.

The establishment of the centre of excellence for disabled children is a worthy idea, but the implications ion the surrounding community need to be understood and resolved before any planning permission is granted.

A separate planning application for changes to Lincoln Court is expected shortly.  Both should be considered together by the planning committee as they are interdependent.

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Hob Moor Community Primary School Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS

Creation of new area of playing fields, wetland areas and timber walkways, erection of fabric shelter over outdoor class space

Ref. No: 18/01475/GRG3 

Nature area and new football pitch

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Windsor House 22 Ascot Way York YO24 4QZ

Erection of part single storey part two storey centre for disabled children and their families following the demolition of existing care home with associated parking, access and landscaping works (includes part of Hob Moor School site)

Ref. No: 18/01467/GRG3 

Disabled children’s centre site plan 2

Disabled children’s centre site plan 1

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

High growth of weeds and hedges but damaged verges still stubbornly bare!

The expectation was that the reinstatement of verges in the City following the UFO broadband works would have seen grass growing back by now. Recent rain has provided ideal growing conditions but there is little sign of life so far!

Dust bowl verges on Gale Lane. Still no grass

Tithe Close snicket has been cleared of litter and graffiti

Litter a problems on several snickets at present like this one on The Reeves.

More hedges blocking public footpaths

Hedge stops passengers waiting at Askham Lane bus stop from seeing approaching buses

Nettles another threat for bus passengers. No sign of the Council treating weeds so far this summer

Trolley area on Acomb car park needs a good clean up