Secret land deal at “Lowfields Green”

The Council has revealed that it has done a deal to sell 0.74 acres of land to Yorspace at the Lowfield school site.

The land is located next to Tudor Road and is expected to accommodate a high-density development of 19 houses and flats. The communal living style model involves people purchasing shares in a “Mutual Home Ownership Society”.

A report, made public only after a decision had been taken says, “It is a high-density development, to reflect its sustainable objectives, and will also include a community building which can be used for events, as well as some shared outdoor communal areas and growing spaces. As part of the groups green objectives, they are aiming for around 1-1.5 parking spaces per house. The site will be constructed using a variety of environmentally friendly materials and processes, possibly including straw bale and solar”.

The report also says, “As part of the agreement they may also take on the management of the growing spaces and some green areas of the Lowfield site and will run them for the wider community’s benefit”.

The council is refusing to say how much the land will be sold for nor will it say what the market value of the land is.

It is clear that a substantial discount has been negotiated.

It appears that the Council is not stipulating that the plots should be reserved for use by  local people with a proven need for cheap accommodation (e.g. on the housing waiting list &/or key workers).

Yorspace plans

The Council has already changed its plans for the relocation of the football team which currently uses the Lowfields playing field.

In December, they were supposed to be relocated to Tadcaster Road. Last month the Council said they were considering fencing off Chesneys Field to accommodate them.

That announcement produced a barrage of opposition from the current users of Chesneys Field.

Residents opposed fencing the public open space by a ratio of 3:1 in a recent door to door survey.

The decision to sell off the land to Yorspace  was taken last week by the Councils Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care (Jon Stonehouse), at a private, behind closed doors, meeting.

There was no consultation with affected residents before the meeting was held.

York council meetings seek Salvation Army help

 Meetings of the city’s councillors will be held in the Citadel while the Guildhall receives a £12 million refit.

For the next two years the Council will meet at the former premises of the Salvation Army on Gillygate.

The Council says,”The Guildhall officially closes on 30 September to prepare for the construction works.

The Citadel, the former home of York’s Salvation Army now owned by York City Church, is a fully accessible city-centre venue and will continue to be open to the public for full council meetings.

The next full council meeting takes place on 26 October”.

Hopes are high in the City that the Salvation Army influence will improve quality of decision making by the Council. 

 

30 young people in York to be stripped of housing benefit

 

Over 30  young people in York central constituency will be affected by the Conservative government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, research by the House of Commons library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown.

In total 18,000 young people across the country expected to be affected. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts, which came into force at the beginning of this month.

York is already suffering from  homelessness, with official figures showing there  were 18 rough sleepers in 2016. Charities have warned that stripping 18-21 year-olds of housing benefits could push more young people onto the streets while research has shown it is likely to cost taxpayers more than it saves.

 

Figures from the House of Commons library showing the number of 18-21 year olds in receipt of Housing Benefit who will be impacted can be found here (link)

The latest figures on rough sleeper by local authority can be found here (link)

Charities have warned the policy will risk pushing thousands more young people onto the streets. Research by Heriot Watt University has claimed the policy will save just £3 million. This means if just 140 more young people were made homeless, the policy would actually cost taxpayers more money overall than it saves. (link)

March of the wheelie bins – secret muster station discovered in Westfield

It looks like hundreds of grey wheelie bins will be marching on York in a few days time.

An encampment has been photographed at a secret location in Acomb by a local resident.

Wheelie bins at secret location

There is speculation that they are connected with a move from the use of plastic sacks to bins in terraced housing areas on the west of the City. The York Council has yet to confirm its intentions.

Anyone spotting any movement from the bin army – particularly late at night – is asked to alert the authorities.

Some bins may adopt a disguise

 

York Labour Councillor quits

The media are reporting that Micklegate Councillor Julie Gunnel is resigning from the City of York Council. It means that a by-election will take place in a ward which has been electorally unpredictable over the years. The other Councillors for the area currently include an Independent and a Green party representative.

The chaotic state of the Labour party nationally has seen several Councillors quit recently. In nearby Leeds, three members recently left to form an independent grouping.

Julie Gunnel had a deserved reputation as being one of the friendliest and hard working local representatives. She had the great advantage of having lived in the city all her life and owned a house in the Micklegate ward. She cites family reasons for her departure.

The by-election may take place on 4th May when local elections are scheduled in other parts of the country.

Labour’s recent election results elsewhere in the country  – coupled with a lackluster performance in the Council chamber – means that a change is on the cards.

Nationally the LibDems have a string of recent Council by-election gains to their credit.

 

UKIP canvassers out in force in Micklegate Ward

Paul Nuttall single handedly beats Euro Saxons

Bloodaxe claims he’s never heard of Paul Nuttall

 

The shipping containers are coming – shock as “Containergate” shopping plan gets Council leadership backing

New proposal for Castle car park development

Sea containers to be parked on Piccadilly?

Shipping containers to be parked on Piccadilly

The York Council’s Executive has tonight approved plans to site shipping containers on Piccadilly.  They will form a shopping and business centre on the former Reynard’s garage site and could be there for 3 years.

Guildhall ward Labour and Green Councillors supported the proposal!

The project is subject to planning approval.

Normally residents would expect the Planning committee to throw out such an insensitive plan. They did insist that landscaping be improved around the  same site when permission was granted to demolish the garage building a year or so ago.

However, the committee’s recent decision to approve a poor quality visitor centre building, at a nearby Clifford’s Tower site, means that they cannot be relied on to protect this part of the City.

The Executive’s decision means that the short term plans to use the Piccadilly site as a car park for blue badge (disabled) drivers is unlikely to be progressed.

santa-in-container-in-york

New Castle car park development plan

New plans for the development of the Castle car park have been announced. They have been inspired by the emerging shipping container architectural movement as well as the English Heritage public convenience school of design

cliffords-tpwer-and-new-building

Prominent York residents and organisations have had their say on the plans.

  • English Heritage – The vertical columns ideally complement the similar design feature on our visitor centre. The Maersk elevations offer a complex counterpoint to the Norman buttresses on the Castle. All in all, something we would be proud of.
  • R Cooke (Author, Changing the Face of the City) – An impressive example of neo-Immingham brutalism.  Helicopter pads should remove need for direction signs. May require some refinement and relocation to Rotterdam
  • York Georgian Society – The containers are only acceptable if they have previously been used to transport molasses or slaves.
  • Walter Brierley (architect, deceased) – Just a minute I need to rotate a few times
  • Rachel Rascal (MP) – Hang on I’ll have to check. How big is the bandwagon of the opponents of the plan? How many wheels does the supporters bandwagon have? ……..  Oh dear this is a bit difficult.
  • C Steward (Con) – Ruddy liberals. mention mutual social enterprise and they’ll all over it.
  • N Ayre (Lib) – It is wonderfully intrusive. A little higher and it would block out that ghastly Cathedral building.

Cattle plan Hob Moor breakout

 Cows and width

Cycle barriers blamed for recent escape

It appears that access to the Hob Moor cycle path has been blocked off, with a chain, in an attempt to stop a mass breakout by the cattle that graze there.

A few weeks ago the herd was found wandering the Foxwood area in the early hours of the morning.

Experts have concluded that they were able to slip through one of the cycle barriers which are designed to allow cyclists to ride through while discouraging motorcyclists.

The barriers have cattle grid on the approach but a narrow strip leading to the Kingsway West barrier may have allowed a nimble heifer to slip through the gap.

Engineers were today filling in a partly constructed tunnel next to the railings.

Colditz escape committee