Poor research or something more sinister?

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.

Labours 2014 plan to develop land on Moor Lane

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.

Labour on social media Mar 2019

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.

Surface water flooding in York: Final report published

The final report in the flooding which took place in the City on 13th August 2018 has been published.

click to read

More than 40mm of rain fell on large areas of the City in just over 15 minutes on the 13th August 2018, the intense nature of the storm led to significant areas of the cities road network being impacted by standing water and drainage systems were unable to cope.

Several properties were internally flooded and outbuildings and gardens of a greater number of properties were similarly affected.

Surface water flooding occurs when rainfall exceeds the capacity of open or piped systems or cannot soak into the ground. It typically occurs because of high intensity rainfall and can be aggravated by pipe or ditch blockage.

A map showing areas potentially vulnerable to surface water funding can be found here https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk/map

Click to view surface water vulnerability map of York

The York Council report is well written and makes several suggestions for improvements It refers to ongoing problems in Haxby but more generally highlights the gully reconstruction and cleaning programme that has been taking place over recent months.

The August event, when 120mm/hr of rainfall were recorded, is exceptional. Any event like this will cause some surface water accumulation but the City is now better prepared to deal with heavy rainfall in future.

One of the recommendations in the report is that network of digital rain meters is installed across the city.

York – Selby cycle track: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!

A lot of work is taking place on the Sustrans York – Selby cycle path

Trees and bushes are being cut back from the cycle track

The cycle track surface has been relayed but is still uneven in places.

Trees felled next to Yorkshire Water sewage works,. Providing an uninterrupted view of the filtration units! There is a lot of flooding in that area so more, rather then fewer, trees are needed.

Graffiti still scars the Tadcaster Road entrance to the track

We’ve reported the detritus on the Tadcaster Road cycle track near Tesco.

Hedges ripped out near Lincoln Court

Hedges are being ripped out by contractors in preparation for the start of building works at Windsor House and Lincoln Court.

The new disabled centre, which will replace Windsor House, does have planning permission. It is understandable that developers Sewells will want to remove the hedges before the bird nesting season starts.

Work to the rear of Lincoln Court is more controversial. A planning permission granted in December was found to be flawed. This forced the Council, to submit a new application which has yet to be determined. It has attracted a lot of objections including a significant one from Sport England.

It is therefore premature to undertake work in that area.

Copies of the Lincoln Court planning application together with details of objections can be found by clicking here 

Contractors removing hedge from school playing field boundary

Hedge to side of Windsor House has already been removed

Spring clean anyone?

As we’ve pointed out over the last few days, many of our public open spaces are looking clean and tidy at the moment.

In west York parks and amenity areas provide an attractive informal opportunity for leisure although in the Westfield ward several are under threat of development.

But there are several areas where litter and fly tipping are a problem. In some cases, items dumped many months ago still haven’t been removed by the Council.

Time for some action we think.

Fortunately, there is an active residents association in the Foxwood area and they have promised to support a month of action in their neighbourhood.

Elsewhere in the Westfield ward residents are currently less well organised so some proactive management is required.

Actions speak louder than words

Shortly there will be local elections in the area. Some candidates are already delivering literature. Both Labour and the LibDems have been seen on the streets this weekend.

The Tories have resorted to employing a contractor to deliver their leaflets They candidly admit that they don’t actually have any candidates, with only a few weeks to go before nominations close.

But no matter. If the candidates or all parties want to impress why don’t they individually organise a “spring clean” in a problem area? This might help to make a favourable impression on voters as well as enhancing the local environment?

The Keep Britain Tidy organisation coordinates an annual Great British Spring Clean campaign. This year the campaign will run between 22nd March – 23rd April 2019 and will focus on removing single use plastics from our open spaces.

Please visit their web site for more details https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/great-british-spring-clean

Grange Lane wood – extensive fly tipping and litter a continuing issue

Dumped mattress in Acomb Wood has been there for several months.

 

Litter in back Front Street is a constant problem

Fly tipping on Chesney’s Field reported twice

Planning updates – Lincoln Court and Lowfields

  • MUGA

    We understand that the Foxwood Residents Association have formally objected to the Councils plans to “replace” the children’s all-weather games area on Kingsway. The objection stems from the Councils proposal to build “fitness equipment” on Chesneys Field during the summer. The Association points out that no consultation has taken place over this proposal which could intensify the use of what is Public Open Space. When a similar idea was mooted 2 years ago, the preferred site for a fitness track was judged to be the Thanet Road Sports Area. The Association have suggested that the Council seek a partnership with the Acorn Rugby Club which could see a new 3G games area provided. Sport England have also objected to the Council’s plans

  • The Yorspace proposals for the Lowfields site have been criticised by the local Drainage Board. They are asking for further details of how surface water runoff will be handled. They point out the fact that – for the whole site –  water run off is likely to be more severe than occurs from the existing greenfield use. There are already some problems with flooding in the gardens of some properties in the Green Lane and Tudor Road area.
  • Separately the Lowfields Residents Group has objected to plans which would see the number of off street parking spaces reduced near 108 Tudor Road. They are also concerned about the traffic implications of building a new access road onto the Lowfields site

NB. The contract for “enabling works” at Lowfields was awarded to NMCN. It is valued at £260,000. The end date for the contract is 19th April 2019.