A few days ago, Labour issued a statement condemning the City of York Council for agreeing to sell off Bootham Park Hospital. Only problem was that the Council had never owned the hospital site. Decisions about its future rest with NHS property, a central government agency.
Now Labour candidates in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe are trying to blame the local coalition for the proposal to build near to Askham Bog on Moor Lane.
It appears that the candidates – who in fairness appear to have little local experience – do not realise that it was a Labour controlled Council that first identified the site for development when they published their version of the Local Plan in 2014 (it is still available to be read “on line”).
The previous version of the Plan, agreed by the outgoing LibDem led council in 2011, had retained the site in the Green Belt.
An incoming Labour administration adopted a “Big City” approach to development and earmarked large areas of Green Belt for development. They wanted to grow the size of the City by 25%. This included building on the land at Moor Lane.
Later the plan was jettisoned when Labour lost control of the Council following a by election in the autumn of 2014.
The latest version of the Local Plan – backed by the ruling LibDem/Tory coalition – protects the Moor Lane site from building.
Not withstanding this, developers are still trying to use the 2014 draft Local Plan as leverage to get planning permission for the site before the final revised Plan is implemented by central government.
It takes a particularly thick brass neck to accuse your opponents of responsibility for a mistake that your own side made.
NB. Labour have published their 2019 local election manifesto. In it they promise to build hundreds of new houses each year many of which will be in new “villages” on the outskirts of the City. The new “villages” will be located on what is now Green Belt land.