No response yet from
the site liaison officer following residents’ concerns about delivery arrangements
at the Lowfields development site.
Concerns about the impact that the large spoil mountains are having on the
local environment have also still to be addressed.
At a planning committee
meeting earlier in the week some progress was made on the plans to create 5 new
parking spaces on Tudor Road.
The Lowfields Action Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/ reports that officials have confirmed that the contractor responsible for building the new access road will also construct the parking spaces as part of the same contract. Although they said that the work would be done “at the same time” no planning condition was included requiring the 3 new “on street” parking spaces to be constructed before the existing ones are lost.
The Council as both the owner and developer
of the site could have offered a unilateral agreement on this but failed to do
Cllr Andrew Waller
was the only Westfield ward representative to speak up on behalf of residents.
He said that the parking spaces to the rear of 108 Tudor Road were too close to
the property. He also asked that improvements be made at the Tudor Road /Gale
about the Yorspace development was a disappointing. Councillors completely failed to challenge the
claim that the proposed homes will be “affordable”. The developer claims
they will be “affordable” The Councils own housing officer has confirmed that
they will not.
No convincing answers given on car parking arrangements. The 12 spaces will not be adequate to cater for the needs of all occupiers and visitors. Overflow parking will therefore further compromise space on Tudor Road, Green Lane and Kingsthorpe. The developers say that occupiers of the building “will not be allowed to own a car” and that all vehicles using the provided spaces will be “communally owned”.
We doubt very much whether they will be able
to enforce such a rule.
The only good thing
to come out of the debate was an offer from the developer to look again at boundary
treatments. They seem to be backing away for the idea of removing the railings.
The railings offer good security while permitting the movement of small mammals
The planning committee last night approved the proposals for
the extension of Lincoln Court.
They failed to include a timetable for the replacement of
the all-weather games area which will be destroyed as part of their plan.
Successive Council officials and Tory Councillors claimed
that the “MUGA” had not been used.
That is simply not true. The area was popular for many years but fell into decline because of lack of maintenance with overgrown bushes providing a screen which encouraged anti-social behaviour.
That was down to poor management by the York Council.
Nevertheless providing an alternative at the Thanet Road site
would have been a positive proposal. The Councils executive had seemed to take
a step in that direction on Monday when they offered to support a new facility.
Council officials admitted last night that they had not even
opened discussions with the rugby club which currently leases the Thanet Road site.
So, what have they
been doing for the last 6 months?
The issue will now be referred to the Secretary of State for
decision. Residents will make representations in support of Sport England’s position
which is that an alternative should be provided before the existing facility is
If this results in
delays, then it will be on the heads of the Councillors who last night voted
through a scheme which not only sells down the river the hopes of younger people
in the Westfield area but also endorses a scheme which provides only a very
small external garden space for the use of the elderly residents of Lincoln
Car parking provision is inadequate while a confused traffic
management model can only lead to more congestion in the estate with verges and
footpaths likely to be damaged by large vehicles.
Work on providing a parking lay-by outside the flats on Askham Lane has started. The work has been outstanding for a long time. Residents have increasingly resorted to parking on the verges which, in wet weather, are easily damaged. So this is good progress.
Local LibDem Councillors also report that off street parking is being provided for the flats on Danesfort Avenue. Much of the area has double yellow lines, and sections of Middleton Road are very congested. The work on the layby, which has been in the programme for some time now’ has been scheduled for the week commencing 25th March. It will use the “eco grid” system used in other locations in the ward.
The first day of spring sees some daffodils blooming on Askham Lane. The Council has cut back the hedge to allow improved visibility from the bus shelter. That’s good progress after the problems that there have been in recent years.
A little further long Askham Lane, near the flats, we understand that the Council may start to install, the much delayed, parking lay-by in the next few days. If true, it is another piece of good news following years of frustration with parking problems.
The localresidents action grouphas protested about the policy for storing excavated materials on the Lowfield development site. Mountains of waste are gradually growing on the Green Lane boundary.
Residents say they were promised consultation on the strategy for dealing with excavated materials. If they were to be stored on site – in preparation for reuse later in the building phase of the work, then assurances were needed about their short and long term effects on drainage in the area.
Now several neighbouring residents are looking out onto 8 metre high piles of concrete rubble.
Concerns were also recorded about the effect that the work would have on the local ecology.
A lorry visiting the site today damaged verges near the site entrance.
This has led to renewed appeals for better advanced notice of deliveries and their likely impact on “on street” parking.
The Council has relented in the face of pressure from local residents and has agreed to provide an additional 3 off street parking spaces on Tudor Road.
Location of proposed additional verge parking spaces on Tudor Road
The original plans only showed two spaces being provided in the rear garden of a block of flats. Now this is being increased by three. They will be constructed on the verges about halfway down the road.
The plan goes some way to compensating for the three spaces which will be lost when the access road for the Lowfield development is constructed.
Even two extra spaces will not be enough to satisfy the pent up demand which is already apparent in the area with verges and forecourts being pressed into service as impromptu parking areas.
The parking problem is likely to get worse when the new development is occupied. The “Yorspace” section of the development site has been criticised as it will only provide 12 parking spaces for 19 new homes. This may force some occupiers to park on Tudor Road
Separately the Council has now revealed that the “Yorspace” homes will not be categorised as “affordable”. This calls into question why the land for the development was sold by the Council at a heavily discounted rate. The discount means that taxpayers will effectively be subsidising the occupiers of the properties although in some cases they may be relativity wealthy individuals.
The York Council announced a few weeks ago that it was restricting the discounts available for small vehicle users who needed ResPark permits. It said that in future the permits would only be available for drivers of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV).
These are electric vehicles. There are no “on street” charging facilities for such vehicles in York.
Also being lost were the 50% discounts that currently apply for the drivers of short cars. These were introduced over a decade ago when small cars like the “Smart” came onto the market. The idea was to reduce the demand for kerbside space. Discounts were available for vehicles under 2.7 metres long.
These disappeared when the new charges were agreed earlier in the year.
They have now mysteriously reappeared in the minutes of a subsequent meeting. It is a shame that the Council were not more open in their debate about discounts. They have still to explain how any ULEV owner could reasonably be expected to recharge their vehicles.
Separately a “scrutiny” reporton the vexed subject of ResPark is being presented to an executive meeting next week. The report recommends several changes including larger ResPark areas and electronic enforcement options.
Following a lively exchange on social media the former Chairman of the York Knights rugby team has shared a plan showing the layout of car parkingspaces at the new Community Stadium
The plan confirms that there will be 55 parking spaces in an “east” car park which will be for the exclusive use of match officials, Directors, staff and players. & will be allocated for the disabled. A further 25 disabled spaces are allocated in a “north” car park
268 spaces are being provided to service the cinema, restaurant, leisure and community users. It is unclear how these will be reserved for these users on match days.
The main on site “match day” parking allocation is for 400 spaces. It is claimed these spaces will be for “permit holders”. It is unclear how much these permits will cost or whether they will be available for casual fans and “away” supporters
Adjacent is the Park and Ride site with a further 434 spaces. It is this area that the Council have announced will be subject to a £10 parking charge (although sources within the Council say this decision is being reviewed).
Meanwhile 250 people have now signed the petitionobjecting to the £10 charge. The organisers have still not said to whom and when they hope to present the petition.
New off street parking being provided in Bachelor Hill
Good to see some progress on providing more off street parking spaces. Matrix (eco grid) surfacing being provided in Bachelor Hill. Follows on fromt the completion of two additional spaces in Spurr Court.
Unfortunately we still have problems with litter. We’ve reported more issues today (see below)