Newbury Avenue

Demolition contractors (who suspended their activities yesterday following complaints that the work was unauthorised) will be able to demolish the Newbury Avenue garage blocks when the current public consultation period ends.

Officials claimed that this will be before Christmas

The planning committee was asked enforce the condition that four additional parking spaces be provided before the garages are demolished. This had been the wish of the planning committee when it met in May.

It was pointed out that some of the heaviest plant and lorries would be accessing the site during any demolition works, making additional off street parking options, on the narrow roads, even more essential.

The Council had been criticised for refusing to let several of the empty garages over the last 6-year period despite there being a waiting list of potential renters.

They moved quickly in the summer to end the remaining tenancies and secure the garage area.

A telecoms junction box must be moved before the car parking spaces can be provided. The junction box had been provided after the plans for new bungalows were published but before the committee took its decision in May. Councillors and officials were aware then of the existence on location of the equipment

Yesterday officials were unable to explain why they had not acted more quickly to get the telecoms equipment moved

NB. Work on providing additional parking lay-bys on Windsor Garth – which was authorised over a year ago – is also still outstanding. The Council has failed to provide a completion date despite many deadlines having come and gone. The lay-bys are being funded under the Westfield ward delegated budget.

Outrage as York Council ignores its own planning condition

Newbury Avenue garage demolition starts before committee has opportunity to consider an application to change a planning restriction.

Two days before the Councils planning committee was due to consider whether a planning condition on the Newbury Avenue garage site should be changed, to allow for early demolition of the blocks, contractors have gone ahead and started the work anyway.

As previously reported, the Planning committee imposed a condition when granting planning permission for the erection of 5 bungalows on the site in May. The condition required alternative parking spaces to be constructed before demolition works commenced.

The provision of the parking spaces required a telecoms cabinet to be moved, but it appears that officials failed to issue the order for this work to be done. It takes about 8 weeks to complete.

It appears that they have compounded the error be letting, and now implementing, the demolition contract.

Plant is on site today and garage doors have already been removed.

Local Councillor Andrew Waller is taking up the issue and the unlawful action is likely to be raised when the planning application is debated at Thursday’s meeting.

Even then officials will not be able to authorise the work until the statutory period for resident objections expires on 20th December.

The demolition will come as a major embarrassment to those involved in the planning system in York. They have already been criticised for allowing changes to developments like Spark in Piccadilly without the proper planning permissions.

However, a flagrant breech of a planning condition by one of the Council’s own departments sets a new low.

The Council has been heavily criticised for ignoring planning concerns at Lowfields on a similar site where it is the land owner, developer and planning authority.

At Newbury Avenue the York Council seems to have decided to ignore the planning laws altogether

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward – Newbury Avenue changes being “fast tracked”

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

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference


Newbury Avenue garage block which could be demolished before alternative car parking spaces are provided.

Garage Court Site At Newbury Avenue York

Variation of condition 16 of permitted application 18/00410/GRG3 to alter date of providing 4 public parking spaces to prior to commencement of the superstructure of the bungalows. (NB. This involves demolishing the garages before alternative off street parking spaces are provided) 

Ref. No: 18/02441/GRG3 

Although this application has only just been submitted it is being “fast tracked” and will be determined at a planning sub committee meeting taking place on Thursday 6th December. The officer recommendation is that authority be delegated to approve the application. To ensure that their representations are considered by Councillors, residents should email any comments to planning.comments@york.gov.uk asap (Quote ref: 18/02441/GRG3 ).

The planning committee meeting will  start at 4.30 pm at West Offices, Station Rise, York.

Residents may attend the meeting and make representations on the officer recommendations (which are to approve the application). Residents may suggest additional conditions which should be attached to any approval. Alternatively, concerns can be emailed to the meeting clerk marked for the attention of the Councillors who will be  making the decisions.

Email:  christopher.elliott@york.gov.uk

You have the right to speak at the meeting on 6th December. If you wish to speak, you must register this by telephoning (01904) 551088, and asking for or a Democracy Officer before 5:00pm on Wednesday 5th December.

Please let him/her know if you would like a copy of the Committee report.

Further details are available of the Councils web site https://tinyurl.com/YPCDec2018

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71 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DJ

Display of 1no. externally illuminated business signboard

Ref. No: 18/02637/ADV 

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3 Otterwood Bank York YO24 3JS

Single storey side and rear extension

Ref. No: 18/02339/FUL 

——

71 Bellhouse Way York YO24 3LL

Conservatory to rear

Ref. No: 18/02337/FUL 

——

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/

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

York Council “fouls up” on Newbury Avenue development plans

Parking lay-by location

The York Council is planning to delay the provision of alternative off street parking spaces in Newbury Avenue. The spaces – to be located outside the block of flats containing numbers 10 to 16 – were to have been provided to offset the loss of off-street parking space when the adjacent  garages are replaced with 5 bungalows.

The bungalow planning application was approved – with the parking condition – on 3rd May 2018. Officials are now saying that a Virgin media box, located outside the flats, will have to be moved and that this work could take between 6 and 8 weeks.

However, the junction box was already in place when the Planning committee met. It appears that officials had authorised the cabinet location knowing that there was a proposal to provide a lay-by.

Garages to be demolished

Now they want to demolish the garages before any alternative parking is provided.

The Planning committee’s decision, taken in May, was controversial because the 4 parking spaces proposed were not adequate to meet existing parking demands. Objectors asked the committee to make a Section 106 order requiring the developers to fund alternative, off street, spaces in the Windsor Gath/Kingsway West area.

Unfortunately, the committee failed to do so.

Any proposal to delay proving the planned four spaces would add insult to injury.

Insufficient off street parking space available

The new Virgin telecoms cabinet was provided after the plans for the area were published but before the planning committee made its decision on 3rd May 2018. It seems that the part of the Council which approves the location of footway plant acted without consulting the section of the Council which deals with developments.

Planning Councillor were well aware of he location of the telecoms cabinet before they made their decisions.

Other plans to provide alternative off street parking lay-bys in the area are mired in delay and have been for several years now.

Residents can object to the Councils latest plan.

Objectors should visit the “planning on line” web site click and insert reference 18/00410/GRG3 in the search facility,. Objections must be lodged before 11th December.

Bad news for small car owners in York

5.2 metre long hybrid behemoths could get discounted parking in York 

The York Council looks set to end the discounts available for the owners of small cars who park in central York. The decision will mainly affect Respark districts although some car park season ticket holders also stand to lose their concession.

In March 2004 the then LibDem controlled City of York Council took the pioneering step of offering Respark permit holders, who drove small low emission vehicles, a substantial discount on their parking permit costs. It was the first scheme of its type in the country.

At the time the discount was aimed at maximising the number of vehicles which could be parked in ResPark areas.  Then, as now, demand for on street spaces exceeds their ability particularly in terraced areas.

|The “short car” initiative meant that maximising the use of vehicles like the 2.7-metre-long Smart car could allow everyone a space. They also had the advantage of being economical, low emission vehicles although it was several years later that central government started to encourage low emission cars by establishing vehicle excise duty bandings which favoured small cars.

The Council used the new bandings to offer discounts for owners who bought season tickets for the Councils off street car parks. Drivers of excise duty bands A and B received a 50% discount.

Small cars will lose their discount entitlement 

Now the Council, is set to reverse its policy on encouraging small cars. Instead they intend to offer discounts on ResPark permits (and parking season tickets) only to the users of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV). These are cars which emit less than 75g/km or less of CO2 per mile.

815 existing permit holders would be affected by the change.

In effect this means the only vehicles to benefit from a discount will be “all electric” and “plug in hybrid” models.

This is a step in the wrong direction at least as far as ResPark permits are concerned.

Many of the ULEV vehicles available are not “small”. They include models like the Mecedes S Class 500E which is over 5 metres long. The smallest is a VW e-UP (3.5 metres) which is all electric and has a range of 90 miles (probably less in the real world).

E-up would get a discount but must recharge every 90 miles

……and that is the second problem. These vehicles must be recharged after each journey. There are no kerbside charging points in ResPark areas at the moment and not likely to be in the foreseeable future.  Owners would have to drive to and from a public rapid charging point of which there are a limited number in central car parks.

The councils new plan – which will be discussed at a meeting taking place next Thursday –  is ill considered.

It seems designed only to increase the Council’s income from car parking charges. It mimics central governments excise duty decision which focus on a vehicles value rather than environmental impact.

It is estimated that the change could bring in around £140,000 a year extra for the civic coffers.

“Viking Hall” planned for Castle car park  

With the organisers of the Shakespearean Rose Theatre eager to return next summer for a repeat performance, it looks like they may have to dislodge Viking invaders first.

The York Council is reporting that they have been approached to provide a Viking themed theatrical experience which would include a Viking Great Hall and courtyard theatre “creating an immersive performance space with a capacity of approximately 100 people per show – with 360-degree sets, live actors, and special effects”.

The installation would also include a Viking themed homestead featuring food and beverage outlets, box office, sheltered and unsheltered seating, entertainment and demonstration stage and the potential for a craft and skills market.

The Council says this would involve the closure of the Castle Car Park to create a new area of “high-quality public realm”. Work on an alternative car park – a multi storey on St Georges Field – has not yet started.

The Rose theatre benefited from one of the warmest and driest summers we have had since the second world war. The test for outdoor attractions always comes with poorer weather. Time will tell what type of events are sustainable near the Castle.

As for the Viking Hall, our predecessors from Scandinavia were famous for their love of the arts. Many a happy evening was spent sitting next to an open fire sipping buttermilk and listening to the harps, lyres and lutes.

They might occasionally drink ale and mead, prompting the following poetic warning

Less good than they say
for the sons of men
is the drinking oft of ale:
for the more they drink,
the less they can think
and keep a watch over their wits.

Beers in those days were much weaker than today.

If the Viking Hall operators hope to get a license for their establishment, no doubt they will restrict sales to Kaliber and the like (No I didn’t think so either)

The Viking Hall would be open between January and May.  January to March is a notoriously quiet time in the York City centre.

That was the week that was in pictures: more dumping and fly posting in west York

A mattress and other items have been dumped in the Cornlands Park

Bus shelter in Askham Lane damaged

Council asked to confirm a date when the much promised, never delivered, lay-by on Askham Lane will be constructed?

Hedge on snicket linking Gale Lane and Haddon Close reported. Needs cutting back

Snicket between Haddon Close and Tennent Road needs clearing of litter (not for the first time)

Fly posters advertising a Fair at ROKO Health Club are blighting the City

Far to much litter, broken glass and detritus on Tithe Close/Tedder Road snicket

Car parking availability signs still out of order

“On line” web guide scrapped

Car parking space availability signs still not working

The Council has about 20 signs on arterial roads which, until about 5 years ago, showed how many empty parking spaces there were at each car park.

Such facilities became commonplace on City streets more than a decade ago. They’re still to be found at many tourist destinations.

The FOI response has also revealed that the counters which allow the number of spaces to be identified, will only be reactivate on three of the signs before the end of the financial year.

The Council – after promising that its on line service, which also gives a guide to finding space, would be updated – has now been decommissioned.  The number of spaces shown has been incorrect for several years.

Users are now referred to the iTravel web site which contains only a list of car parks (and without an indication of the number of spaces at each).

Commercial sites like https://en.parkopedia.co.uk/ are much better.

There were also hopes that space availability would be linked to GPS systems to allow “Sat Nav” users to optimise their routes. Now it seems that driving round the inner ring road will continue to be the only way of finding a space.

That’s bad news for a Council leadership that claims to be trying to reduce pollution levels in the City centre, by cutting out unnecessary travel. Its also bad news fro some City centre traders who sell goods that require a purchaser to have access to their own transport.

York Council acts to tackle street level problems – potholes, school parking, weeds/litter, footpath repairs etc

Saturdays story, Now action promised on cleaning up streets

Potential boost for York’s frontline services
York’s frontline services could be set to receive a further financial boost, thanks to the efforts of Liberal Democrat Councillors.
In a report published today, it is proposed that:
  • £1.031 million is used to increase capacity in some of York’s crucial frontline services by utilising £620k that has been unspent and a further £411k of unused contingency fund.
  • It is also proposed that an extra £1 million is brought forward from the 2019/20 budget to resurface some of the worst roads in the City, as a result of the recent extreme winter weather. 
If approved by the Executive, it is proposed that this newly released funding be used to support existing frontline services and launch new initiatives, including:
  • Creating a new work programme for footpath repairs across the city.
  • Establishing an additional team to carry out pothole maintenance.
  • Providing new resources for enforcement teams to control dangerous parking, with a special focus on improving safety around schools.
  • Allowing residents who have had recycling boxes damaged or stolen to claim two free boxes per year.
  • Using the Economic Infrastructure Fund to support high street shopping in Haxby and Acomb.
  • Creating a fund to support voluntary and community groups who wish to develop innovative ideas on how to make the best use of our green spaces.
Cllr Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of the Council, said:
“Frontline services have always remained our number one priority for the Liberal Democrats and if approved by the Executive in June, this additional investment goes a long way top reaffirm that commitment.”
“Subject to Executive approval, this additional funding can be put to good use in order to carry out extensive highways repairs and considerably improve our public spaces.”
“Just as this investment shows, the Liberal Democrats will continue to uphold our commitment to York’s frontline services and work hard to ensure residents receive the highest standards of service from all Council services.”

Plan for improvements to Railway Station precinct welcomed

Unanswered questions about cost and sources of funding

The Council has published consultation plans which could dramatically change the area around the entrance to York railway station. The idea revolves around demolishing the Queen  Street bridge.

Although the basic plans have been around for more than a decade the Council has now committed to implementation before 2022.

It will however be a very expensive project to implement (demolition of the Queen Street Bridge alone will cost over £7 million) and the consultation papers are largely opaque on costs and sources of funding. Until more financial details emerge, the plans will simply be the latest is a series of artists impressions.

No journey time impact figures are provided.

Still the basic principle of separating pedestrian movements from traffic has to be right while the removal of cars from the portico and Tea Room Square will be welcomed by many.  Replacement car parking is promised on the west of the station.

Bus stops will remain “on street” but are rationalised over a longer distance.

Full details, including an explanatory video, can be found  by clicking here.