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


12 The Knoll York YO24 3EB

Single storey rear extension with render finish following demolition of rear projection – retrospective

Ref. No: 20/00572/FUL 


120 Barkston Avenue York YO26 5BB

Two storey side extension, dormer to rear and 2no. rooflights to front

Ref. No: 20/00497/FUL 


Acomb Antiques 7A Acomb Court Front Street York YO24 3BJ

Change of use from retail unit (use class A1) to nail bar (sui generis)

Ref. No: 20/00444/FUL 


Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.

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

Housing reform proposals get mixed response in York

The government have published proposals which could see significant changes in the way that homes are planned and delivered in York. click

Government paper March 2020

The proposals include plans to make better use of brownfield (previously developed) land and a requirement for all local authorities to have an approved Local Plan.

One aspect, that has attracted local criticism, is the paragraph covering the introduction of “new rules to encourage building upwards, increasing density in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure”. Permitted development rights (PDR) would be extended to allow residential blocks to be increased by up to two storeys. Some have claimed that this might affect views of The Minster. Indeed, it might, particularly if the proposals are applied to conservation areas and local PDRs have not already been restricted by the local Council.

That does need to be clarified before changes are published later in the year.

But the White Paper also includes some positive messages.

March 2020
Barbican development site

As well as plans to make better use of brownfield land, the paper says it will ensure land allocated for housing is built on. That will ring a bell with some who regularly walk past derelict sites like that next the Barbican. It has had planning permission for homes for over 5 years.

Many will also feel sympathy for the proposal to improve security for tenants by abolishing the use of ‘no fault evictions’. The papers says, “that tenants can put down roots in their communities and plan for their long-term future”.

Local amenity organisations will surely welcome proposals to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to embed the principles of good design and placemaking – “this will make clear that high-quality buildings and places must be considered throughout the planning process”?

Another commitment is for urban tree planting and giving communities a greater opportunity to influence design standards in their area. “This will put tree lined streets at the centre of future plans, so that they become the norm not the exception”

The government plans to give local authorities the ability to ensure that new homes conform to “local residents’ ideas of beauty” through the planning system. “Using the National Model Design Code, we will set out clear parameters for promoting the design and style of homes and neighbourhoods local people want to see. We will ask local places to produce their own design guides and codes, informed by listening to local people and considering local context”.

There is more than a whiff of centralised control about the paper and, of course, the actual implementation of ideas often proves illusive.

The world and the City may in any event look very different in 6 months time.

But there is still something to be positive about in the White Paper

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


24 Walker Drive York YO24 3NE

Single storey rear extension

Ref. No: 20/00388/FUL 


Hob Moor Community Primary School Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS

Condition 5 – 18/01475/GRG3

Ref. No: AOD/20/00052 

(NB. Relates to the installation of 3 bird nesting boxes)


Acomb Bowling Club Front Street York

Conditions 10 (drainage), 14 (landscaping) and 17 (waste collection) – 18/00586/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/20/00045 

Reveals that the Council refuse lorry will not be able to access the site because of the narrow access road. A private waste management company will be used. Landscaping plan below.


Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.

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

5G masts in York

Applications are starting to come in for new mobile phone masts in parts of York. They will support the new 5G network that is being rolled out.

We understand that many will involve the upgrade of existing equipment.

Only one case has so far been referred to the planning committee. It concerns a proposed mast to be located in Naburn Lane.

The application seeks permission for the replacement of an existing 11.7m high monopole telecommunications mast with a 20m high tower and associated cabinets.

The site is in the Green Belt. Officials are recommending approval at a meeting next week.

The application does, however, raise the broader issue of how many new masts may be required in the York area and crucially how high they might be.

Last year the government threatened to remove Councils powers to vet applications. They hoped that this would speed up the process of rolling out the new network

While the new masts could be twice as high as those provided for 4G coverage, the main impact is likely to be on rural areas.

At present little information has been made available to York residents. All we have are national  background briefings.

A BBC article last year reacted to forecasts of hundreds of new masts being required.

We think that the Council should tell residents what to expect, where and when as the 5G revolution gathers pace

Major housing plans in York set to get go ahead next week

Proposals to develop two long term empty sites in York will be before the planning committee next week. Together the development of the sites could provide nearly 700 new homes in the City.

 Gas works site, Heworth Green

The proposal is for the erection of a maximum of 625 residential apartments, 130 sqm of retail or community use floorspace.

Two gas governor compounds will be retained, and the site will be remediated with the old gasholder removed and gas pipes relocated underground.

The plans cover associated access, car parking, amenity space and landscaping after demolition of existing pipework, structures and telephone mast.

The brownfield site is allocated for housing in the revised York Local Plan. The site is no longer classified as contaminated.

The plans would see 370 one bed, 194 two bed and 61 three bed apartments built.

The report suggests that 20 social rent houses will be provided (off site) as part of the plans. In addition around 130 of the on-site apartments will be available for private rent, discounted by 30%.

There have been concerns registered about inadequate car parking arrangements and the York Civic Trust has said that the plans are an “overdevelopment”.

The development will cost £154 million. It is recommended for approval by Council officials.

Ashbank Shipton Road

Ashbank – scheduled to be converted into flats since 2013

Another long term empty property badly in need of redevelopment are the former Council offices at Ashbank. The building has been empty for over 8 years and is still owned by the York Council.

The application involves the demolition of Barleyfields and erection of 54 assisted living apartments and communal facilities. The modern extensions to Ashbank would be demolished and the building converted into 4 assisted living apartments. There would be changes to parking and landscaping arrangements.

Planning permission was previously granted for four 2½ storey dwellings to the rear of Ashbank with conversion of the villa to 5 apartments. This permission has not been implemented.

12 of the new units will be “affordable”

There have been 12 objections registered some connected with the loss of tree cover (although replacement planting is proposed) and building height

The site is classified as “brownfield”

Officials are recommending approval of the plans

Residents and businesses to have their say on the future of York city centre

Local people are being invited by the City of York Council to have their say on the future of York’s city centre as a major 12-week consultation is launched today to help the Council create a long term vision for the city.

‘My City Centre’ will build on York’s strengths by seeking the views of residents, businesses, visitors and stakeholders to inform a new city centre vision. This vision will guide investment and shape development and improvement projects in York city centre for decades to come.

An online survey will explore issues ranging from affordability, community and the environment to digital technologies, transport, leisure and culture. It can be completed at

An exhibition and series of drop-in events are also planned in the city centre and around wider York where the public will be encouraged to share their views on some of the challenges facing the city centre through responding to the questionnaire and other interactive elements. The exhibition starts at York Explore, Museum Street from 2 to 26 March before stints at Burnholme and then Acomb. The first two drop-in events are being held on Saturday 14 March on Parliament Street and Friday 20th March at St Helen’s Square, both 10am-2pm.

On Monday 23 March, a workshop session led by retail expert Bill Grimsey provides a further opportunity to discussion the future of the city centre in more detail. Tickets can be obtained at

The full details for the exhibitions are:

Touring exhibition

  • Mon 2 March – Fri 27 March @ York Explore
  • Mon 30 March – Fri 17 April @ Centre@Burnholme/ Tang Hall Explore
  • Mon 20 April – Fri 8 May @ Acomb Explore
  • Mon 11 May – Fri 22 May @ City of York Council West Offices

Staffed drop-in sessions

  • Wednesday 18 March, 11.30am to 1pm and 5.30pm to 7pm @ York Explore
  • Tuesday 7 April, 10am to 2pm @ Centre@Burnholme/ Tang Hall Explore
  • Thursday 30 April, 10am to 2pm @ Acomb Explore
  • Wednesday 13 May, 3pm to 6pm @ City of York Council West Offices


Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

 Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference


104 Wetherby Road Acomb York YO26 5BY

Single story side and rear extensions

Reference   20/00290/FUL


Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

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

£500,000 grant for York communal housing group

The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was today asked to grant £1/2 million to the Yorspace communal housing group.  The group claimed that their £4 million scheme would create 50 jobs in the construction sector and would be built to uniquely high levels of sustainability.

A report to the decision meeting held today says “This project is a departure from what the Local Growth Fund has supported to date”

LEPs were set up to “support growth, create new jobs and businesses

Although Yorspace identify 50 new jobs in the construction sector and high insulation standards in the homes, these are far from unique outcomes.

The developer claims it will build “19 low carbon homes….constructed on the Lowfield Green site using biobased sustainable construction materials….sourced locally….and have low embodied carbon, create low energy healthy homes and produce zero waste“.  LEP officials observe that it is unclear what this actually means

The alternative of developing the land for Council housing would have produced the same outcomes. The Council has agreed that all its new build properties will be to “Passivhaus” environmental standards.

The LEPs independent appraiser identified a few weaknesses such as unclear aspects of  procurement, state aid and match funding.

Yorspace is a communal housing cooperative in which house occupiers buy a stake. Originally it was thought that the group would provide homes for the less well off but that seems to be less clear now. Their pitch now seems to be based on the use of ultra sustainable building materials

When the York Council offered to sell a plot for the 19 homes on the Lowfields site it did not impose conditions which would have required the units to be occupied by the less well off, by those on the housing waiting list or even to those currently living in York or North Yorkshire.

No groups such as “key workers” are targeted for the occupation of the units

The project has already been offered a cheap land deal at Lowfields by the York Council and hopes to attract £855,000 from Homes England. Yorspace and its partner the “Lowfield Green Housing Cooperative” currently have joint assets of around £5000. They recently ran a “crowd funding” appeal.

The LEP are clearly concerned that other house builders might regard any state subsidy as unfair. The report says,  “State Aid: The most appropriate applicant – Yorspace or the Lowfield Green Housing Co-operative – needs to be identified, then the State Aid position clarified in the light of this. This also needs to address potential objections from other housebuilders when any LEP grant is publicised”.

The LEP report concludes “In recommending provisional approval it is in recognition that this is an unusual but innovative project that needs further support and assistance and may in the end not be able to be funded”.

The York Council has not debated their approach to this latest application for a taxpayer funded subsidy.

LEP papers are published on their web site but are not easy to find. Meetings attract little advanced publicity.

The meeting report can be downloaded by clicking here

Grant application to LEP

Controversy over plan to turn elderly persons flat into office

Council officials are recommending to a Planning committee meeting next week, that a flat in the Gale Farm Court sheltered accommodation building – which is provided for the use of elderly residents – be converted into a housing office.

Officials claim that it is the only “rent free” option available them in Acomb. Currently they rent a room at the Gateway Centre (and the Foxwood Community Centre).

Gale Farm Court. Plan to convert flat into office

Acomb lost its housing office about 8 years ago. That was a bad move, which prompted a divide between housing managers and the largest concentration of social tenants in the City.

 It had been intended to provide a replacement as part of a “one stop shop” extension to the Acomb library but that project stalled. Land to the rear of the library had been purchased by the Council but has remained derelict for over 10 years.

Officials have promised to revive the Acomb Library plan as part of a £2 million refurbishment project. However senior managers ion the housing department say they can’t wait for that work to be competed

At a time when the largest number of people on the housing waiting list are those requiring one bedroomed accommodation, it seems illogical to take an existing home out of use.

The office could be in use 12 hours a day and it could prove to be a difficult neighbour for the several dozen elderly people who live on the site.

There is also a concern about car parking. Official calm that users will walk to the office but experience elsewhere suggests that this may not be the case.

Cllr Andrew Waller is the local Councillor leading the call for a rethink. He is right to do so.

There is empty property In the Front Street pedestrian area which could be rented until a permanent new location for a Council office can be found. Any increase in footfall in the main shopping area would be welcomed by both traders and residents.  

Appropriating scarce residential accommodation is not the right solution for the Councils office problem.

York Central new plans published. Leeman Road tunnel still to become one lane.

The new plans can be viewed via these links


Other key character areas

Other infrastructure, planting and construction

New bridges

Millennium Green and Water End

The most controversial aspect is likely to remain the continued use of the Leeman Road (Marble Arch) tunnel for general traffic and cyclists. The proposers persist with the idea of reducing the carriageway to one – signal controlled – lane with cyclists using the other lane. They seem blithely unaware that neither the carriageway or pedestrian sections of the tunnel have a waterproof membrane. Quite simply pedestrians and cyclists will continue to face – in wet weather – an unpleasant introduction to what had been billed as a 21st century experience. Lack of forethought means that any link onto the Scarborough cycle bridge will also be awkward.

Marble Arch tunnel transport layout

There are few surprises in the rest of the package although those cycling from Wilton Rise might have hoped for more details of an alternative route to the existing archaic footbridge.

What to expect according to the Council

The Council has published the following media release, having leaked it to the commercial media over the weekend.

“City of York Council says it  has unveiled proposals for the access routes which enable the York Central partnership to unlock the jobs, homes and public spaces developed  through the award-winning Masterplan.

The council is working in partnership with Network Rail, Homes England and the National Railway Museum to develop proposals to regenerate the 45 hectare-site – one of the largest brownfield sites in the UK.

As the largest landowners, Network Rail and Homes England secured outline planning permission in 2019. This established the principles of the regeneration, creating up to 2500 homes, an estimated 6500 jobs, and a range of public spaces, including the city’s first new park in a century.

Each partner will now develop detailed ‘Reserved Matters’ planning applications covering different parts of the scheme. The council has prepared the first of these, in line with the outline planning application, as it is responsible for the funding and delivery of the essential infrastructure. Homes England and Network Rail are responsible for future applications for housing and employment space.

The first Reserved Matters application proposals include:

  • New access routes throughout the site, including 1.85km (1.1m) of segregated cycle and pedestrians pathways;
  • A new 3.5m wide bus lane on Cinder Street, and routes for two park and ride services to run through the site;
  • A new bridge in weathering steel – the material used on the new Scarborough Bridge foot and cycleway – across the east coast mainline;
  • A new 4m shared pedestrian and cycle bridge added to the Water End bridge;
  • New streets and access points, including Leeman Road Spur, change to Leeman Road tunnel and Marble Arch;
  • A replacement rail link which will be used by the National Railway Museum;
  • Mature tree planting along the routes, new pathways and landscaping through Millennium Green”.

Councillor Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council, said:

York Central has enormous potential to deliver a wide-range of benefits to the city, including new homes, new jobs and new sustainable transport links in the heart of the city.”

“Together with our partners, we have placed public engagement at the centre of our proposals to provide the homes, jobs and public spaces which the city needs.  We are sharing these plans to demonstrate how we have responded to what residents have been telling us, particularly with regards to pedestrian, cycle and bus routes.”

“I would strongly encourage everyone to look and engage with these proposals, as it is incredibly important to us that the York Central development happens and works to the benefit of everyone in the city.”

People can see the proposals from Monday 24 February in several ways:

On-line at