Lowfields residents update newsletter. Parking plan criticised as inadequate

The Lowfield Residents Group have criticised the Councils plan to provide only 2 alternative off street spaces to replace a parking lay-by on Tudor Road.  They are circulating a newsletter to affected residents (see below)

The existing 4 space lay-by will be lost when the Council, starts work on providing a new access road into the Lowfield site.

Part of the garden of an adjacent flat block (108 Tudor Road) is being used to provide 4 spaces but residents point out that Tudor Road, along with the adjacent Gale Lane, has on street parking restrictions.

This means that the Tudor Road bays are heavily used.  Occasionally drivers park on the garage forecourt opposite causing an obstruction.

More parking spaces are required.

At the other end of Tudor Road (low numbered) a communal housing experiment will see only 12 parking spaces provided for 19 properties. Some of the properties have 4 bedrooms. The occupants of similar properties elsewhere often have 2 or 3 cars.

All in all, we don’t think that the Council has got its transport and parking policies for the development right yet.

Ironically The Press is today running a story saying that life expectancy in the Westfield Ward is the lowest of any in the City.

We’ve pointed out to the Council that its relentless attack on open space and sports provision in the area is partly to blame.

Loss of the football pitch at Lowfields  is a major factor as is the threat to the bowling green on Front Street, the erosion of the Hob Moor playing field and the loss of the Kingsway all weather games area.

The playing field associated with Our Lady’s school has, of course, already been built on.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 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

—-

Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Conditions 15 and 22 of 17/02428/FULM.

These relate to plans to remove trees from the site and break up hard surfaces

Ref. No: AOD/19/00033

——

108 Tudor Road York YO24 3AZ

Construction of 2 parking spaces to rear served by new vehicular access from Tudor Road

This is also connected with the Lowfields development. It involves the provision of 2 new parking spaces to the rear of the flats. The spaces in the parking layby on Tudor Road will be lost when the new site access road is constructed.  The access road will be used by construction traffic

Ref. No: 19/00128/GRG3 

NB. These applications may be subject to objections from the Save Lowfields Playing Field Action Group. They have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/ on which local residents can make comments. There are currently 5 detailed planning applications/condition approvals for Lowfields which are awaiting determination


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

Parking on verges

Damaged verge in Thoresby Road

The improved weather hasn’t come quickly enough to prevent damage to several grass verges in the area.

Thoresby Road is particularly bad. There is an outstanding improvement scheme which would see more off street spaces provided in the street.  Currently the Council is exploring the possibility of providing  “eco grid” parking on part of the grassed area outside flats no’s 50-52 and 66-68.

NB. We understand that the Council are also still pursuing the possibility of providing “eco grid” parking outside flats in Chapelfields.

Lowfields – Residents produce newsletter

Local residents have published a newsletter which highlights emerging issues in the Lowfields area. The initiative comes after Council officials admitted that inadequate notice had been given of a “drop in” meeting that they held at the library last week.

There are several planning applications for the Lowfields site which are due to be considered over the next few weeks. Residents are being urged to make their views known.

There is scope to provide proper off street hard hard standing at the flats on little Green lane

The snicket link on little Tudor Road has not been swept regularly

There is concern about the impact of anti social behaviour in the area when the snicket linking little Tudor Road to Dijon Avenue is reopened.

Residents have also suggested that while plant is in the area, improved off street parking should be provided for those tenants living in flats next to the snicket.

Elsewhere there is pressure for alternative parking bays to be provided before the new access to the Lowfields site is constructed near number 106. Several off street parking spaces will be lost when the new road is constructed.

There is still no firm news on when the much promised, but never delivered, additional parking bays will be provided on Dijon Avenue. It appears that the Council has abandoned a plans to site them near the Green Lane junction.

Lowfields Residents Action Group newsletter Feb 2019

Lowfields Residents Action Group newsletter Feb 2019

 

 

Contractors jumping gun as Newbury Ave development starts before parking bay completed?

Building contractors have moved  onto the Newbury Avenue building site before a promised parking bay has been brought into use. The contract is worth £730,000 and will see 5 bungalows built on the site.

The Council had originally insisted that the 4 space bay be provided before work started on demolishing the garages. They later hurriedly changed the condition to say the bays must be provided before construction work started.

The intention was that the bays would provide some relief for local residents forced to park “on street” when  20 or so vehicles are displaced from the garages.

That hasn’t happened and work has only just started on the bays.

Official’s had blamed a slow response from a utility company that had been asked to move one of its boxes.

Sadly the other parking bays promised for the beleaguered estate have also not  been provided.

Local Councillors had allocated funding from their delegated estate improvement and ward committee budgets. They surveyed residents opinions on suitable sites a couple of months ago and received the thumbs up for locations near Beverley Court and Kempton Close.

But no feedback on the plans  has subsequently been given to residents.

With only 6 weeks until the end of the financial year, there is now doubt whether the Windsor Garth and Danesfort Avenue spaces will actually be provided.

Newbury Avenue building contractor now on site

Parking lay-by work not yet competed.

Work starts on providing additional parking spaces in Foxwood

At long last, work has started on providing additional parking spaces in the Spurr Court area.

However there is still no news on the other half a dozen lay-by schemes that are outstanding in the Thoresby Road, Dijon Avenue, Windsor Garth, Askham Lane  and Chapelfields areas.

The Council really should keep residents up to date with the progress being made.

Monks Cross parking charge doubled ahead of stadium opening

The Council has announced that the charge for parking at Monks Cross will increase from £5 to £10. The proposal comes shortly before the new Community Stadium and facilities like the IMAX cinema are scheduled to open in the summer.

A parking charge of £10 would be amongst the highest faced by supporters of both football and rugby in the UK. In the lower leagues, charges are usually less than £5. (Higher charges can apply to car parks close to Premier league grounds).

Many local supporters are expected to use the reverse park and ride service to Monks Cross. Fares are £3-20 return to the City centre.

Free parking at the nearby Vanguard (John Lewis, M & S etc)car park is restricted to a maximum of 4 hours. Camera enforcement of the restrictions is in operation. Trip Advisor is rife with complaints about fines of £80 being levied for over stayers.

Car park occupancy in York

Car parking space availability signs still not working

It looks like the Council may finally be reinstating the remote car park space availability systems.

The real time information – available on street signs and via the internet – was abandoned some 5 years ago.

Now a £98,000 contract has been awarded to Swarco Traffic Ltd for the provision of new control equipment

More on Lowfield plans – public “drop in” tomorrow

The Council says that it will hold a public “drop in” at Acomb Explore Library between 4:30pm and 7:00pm tomorrow (Thursday 7th February) to react to criticisms of its plans to start work on the Lowfields school development later in the month.

The scheduled work involves felling trees and removing hard surfaces.

Some residents commenting on the “Save Lowfield Playing Field” Facebook page say that they have not received notification of the event. Others say that a limited hours, mid-week, event prevents shift workers from attending

The letters that the Council say that they have delivered are reproduced below.

The plan to schedule tree felling works during February is surprising as the planning condition covering this work has not yet been approved.

Residents have until the middle of the month to record their objections with the expectation that local Councillors will “call in” the proposal for consideration by a planning committee. Details of the planning conditions application can be found via this link.  

Objections should be sent by Email to planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting ref AOD/19/00001

Residents have commented that there are a lot of questions to be answered about the site preparation work, which is scheduled to be completed by May.

These include

  • working hours,
  • noise,
  • access routes for heavy lorries and
  • contractor parking arrangements.

The Action Group says that it expects the findings of an Ombudsman’s enquiry into allegations, that the Council misled residents and Sport England over their plans, is due to be published this week.

The Action Group may also be giving evidence to the Local Plan public inquiry which is due to start shortly

Trees to be felled shown in red

Housing by type and tenure

Lincoln Court – Council admits planning blunder

The sorry saga surrounding the Councils plans to modernise and extend the Lincoln Court independent living building on Ascot Way has taken a new twist.

A brand new planning application has been submitted. If approved, it will replace the ill fated and poorly judged proposal passed by the Planning Committee as recently as December. The new proposal is for a “three storey extension to accommodate 15 new flats with associated alterations to the internal layout of existing flats (creating 10 new flats in total), a single storey front extension to form a new main entrance, erection of a plant room to side, reconfiguration of parking provision and associated landscaping works including new boundary fencing”.

Planning report Dec 2018

That decision was criticised because it ignored a request by Sport England that a replacement all weather games facility be provided in the neighbourhood when the existing facility was developed. The extensions to Lincoln Court are partly to be built on the games area. Sport England made a specific request for a replacement with possible sites being identified by local residents on the new area of playing field being provided at the school or alternatively on the Thanet Road sports area.

Another mistake made by the committee was to require that the additional 10 flats being provided at Lincoln Court be extra care” units. They would have required 24/7 staffing support. Officials later privately confirmed that this was a mistake and that it had been intended to provide an additional 10 flats identical in function to those existing on the site.

The “extra care” argument had been used to justify providing only 16 parking spaces to service the planned 36 flats and the staff and visitors to the much larger new building (see extract from December report). There are currently 12 parking spaces allocated to Lincoln Court. Many of them are heavily used with visiting staff sometimes being force to park on adjacent roads.

The way that the Planning Committee handled the December application was subject to a formal complaint in December. A response from the Council is still awaited.

Unfortunately, the new planning application does not address the parking issue despite claims by officials that the ”extra care” units did not require a parking space and hence could justify providing only 16 spaces. There is an underused grassed area to the south of the site which could have matrix protection installed and which could then be used as overspill car parking.

More seriously, the Council continues to turn a blind eye to the concerns about lack of provision for younger people in the neighbourhood. We would expect the Sport England condition to be incorporated into any revised permission.

NB. No action is planned on escalating traffic congestion issues in the area. Problems on the narrow roads in the estate are being exacerbated by recent planning permissions for additional housing in the estate which only has one access route. The December plan attracted more criticism when it was revealed that the elderly residents would have to move out of their homes for over 12 months while the work took place