Carlton Tavern – re-run of planning meeting expected on 13th December

It looks like there will be a re-run of the debate and vote on the future of the Carlton Tavern. The Planning Committee (on the casting vote of the Chairman) agreed last month that the pub be demolished to make way for an elderly care home.

Various sources on social media are now claiming that the Council will look again at the proposal following threats of a Judicial Review by a national amenity society.

Council officials have, apparently, agreed to further clarify the planning advice that they gave the committee.

Quite whether this will make any difference remains to be seen. It is at least a possibility that different Councillors may attend the meeting making it possible that a different conclusion will be reached.

We will see.

It seems that the Council is caught between a rock and a hard place.

Now Drainage Board highlights Lowfields playing field development issues

click to view complete letter

According to the “Save Lowfields Playing Field Action Groups Facebook page the Ainsty Internal Drainage Board is unhappy with the Council’s plans to develop the playing field.

The Drainage Board comments come a few days after Sport England recorded a formal (holding) objection to the plans. Sport England say that the Council proposed alternative football pitch location (Sim Balk Lane) is unconvincing with any facility there likely to be used mainly by Bishopthorpe.

Lowfields Green – a candidate for the least imaginative architecture award?

Concerns about water run off rates, from what is currently a self draining grassed field, are not unexpected.

A glace at the Council unimaginative serried rows of new houses (see left) as well as offering little streetscape relief, have minimal green space provision.

Sport England objection

Hard surfaces increase water run off rates and neighbouring properties could be adversley affected.

Hopefully the Council will now withdraw its proposals and come with something that not only increases the availability of homes in the area but also addresses some endemic failings.

Not least amongst these are the lack of open space and sports pitches in the Westfield ward.

One of the consequences of poor leisure and other public services is that life expectancy in the area is significantly below the Citywide average


Castle/Piccadilly redevelopment – more meetings

New river walkways and public spaces, new uses for Castle car park, and alternative parking are among the exciting ideas to regenerate Castle Gateway being shared over the next month.

Guided walks across the weekend will introduce the range of ideas to regenerate the huge area of the city ― taking in Piccadilly, Fossgate, Castle, Eye of York and much more – at a special launch event taking place this weekend.

Planners have generated the ideas based on what people said during the first stage of My Castle Gateway, a unique and bold new consultation approach introduced earlier this year. You can also view and feed back all the ideas online at .

City of York Council has joined forces with local engagement experts My Future York to run a series of guided walks, interactive events and online discussions to explore what people want to see and do in the area.

Instead of producing a single masterplan, the Castle Gateway team has created a series of options to allow York’s residents and businesses to keep shaping the future.

However, the consultation process has been criticised for being too ponderous and lacking any sense of urgency. Decisions on the sites are needed urgently to avoid piecemeal development and seize the opportunity to regenerate an area which has been run down for too long.

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

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

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference


38 Marston Crescent York YO26 5DQ

Two storey side and single storey rear extensions

Ref. No: 17/02641/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

Local Plan – Tory Minister criticises Tory delays in submitting plan

Tories have been mired in Local Plan controversy

A government Minister is threatening to take over the preparation of the Local Plan for York.

Good luck with that then.

Millions of pounds have already been spent on  research projects and consultation. The last thing a northern City needs is the dead hand of London government interfering at the last minute.

York had a perfectly good draft Local Plan ready to submit for final approval in February 2011. Then a new administration was elected and new Council Leader James Alexander unveiled his “Big City” proposal which would have seen York increase in size by 25%.

Large areas of Green Belt land would have been developed

Few wanted that, so, not surprisingly, 4 years later his high growth based Local Plan was ditched before it even made it to a public enquiry.

Residents protest against Labour’s Local Plan in 2013

The latest plan – which still has elements of controversy – was almost ready when central government announced that it was closing two barracks in the York area. That potentially released a large amount of additional building land into the pool. The Council could not ignore that change and has spent 12 months agonising about how to react to the news.

Tory housing numbers plan 2015 election manifesto

If they had ignored the change, then objectors would have rubbished the plan for being incomplete.

Yes maybe the Council  should have moved along a little quicker but final consultation on the latest plan ended on 31st October so there is nothing to stop an “Examination in Public” now being scheduled.

Far from speeding up the process, it is more than likely that any intervention by central government will result in further delays.

The Council has now said that it will follow this timetable

Timetable for delivery:

Sep / Oct 2017             Consultation over pre-publication draft of Local Plan

Jan 2018                      Publish results of Local Plan, which go to the Local Plan Working Group and the council’s Executive

Feb-March 2018          Consultation on final version of the Local Plan

May 2018                     Submission to Secretary of State

York Liberal Democrats have responded to Minister’s Local Plan statement

Today, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced that he will be starting the formal intervention process in our Local Plan.

The Liberal Democrats do not share the same views expressed by the Secretary of State; that York has ‘failed to cooperate’ on its duty to provide local development schemes. 

In reality, we have been working tirelessly over the last few years to create a Local Plan that is right for the City of York, a plan that provides the homes and opportunities we need to grow our city, whilst protecting its unique heritage. 

Unfortunately, as we approached the final stages of setting our Local Plan, the Ministry of Justice announced the closure of three barracks in the City.  As a result, we re-consulted on the Local Plan and set back the process by 6 months, in order to absolutely ensure the people of York had the opportunity to have their say.

It is essential to the future development of York that our Local Plan is determined by local people, not forced upon us by central government.  The Conservatives and the Cities MPs should stand up for York and not allow Government to dictate the future of our City.  The Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose outside interference and deliver a local plan for the City.

Last day for objections to the “Lowfields Green” development

The deadline for objections to the Councils “Lowfields Green” planning application has now passed.

The Action Group opposing the proposal to build on the playing field part of the site have submitted a comprehensive objection. A copy of their objection can be found via their Facebook page

Most of the representations of support for the scheme seem to be generated by the  communal living project (Yorspace) although there is general support for the plans for specialist accommodation for the elderly.

None of the representations in favour of the Councils proposals come for people living near Lowfields (or indeed from the Westfield/Acomb area more generally)

The only unconditional message of support for the Council plan has been lodged by Bob Towner – a former Director of Housing at (you guessed!) the City of York Council!  He says local people should use Hob Moor for recreational activities.

Further examination of the artists impressions of the proposals reveal a regimented design, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1960’s.

Lowfields Green – a candidate for the least imaginative architecture award?




Severus Hills housing proposal set to be refused planning permission

It looks like residents are set to win their battle to prevent the development of a key site near Lindsey Avenue.

Yorkshire Housing want to build 43 affordable homes next to the landmark water tower.

Severus Hills comprises a 1.66 hectare partially wooded site occupying a prominent hill top location to the north west of the City Centre. It was formerly occupied by a, partially below ground, reservoir.

The site is a notified SINC (Site of Interest for Nature Conservation) on the basis of providing a calcareous grassland habitat.

Now planning officials are recommending that the application be refused. 159 letters of objections had been received by the Council.

Officials conclude that the development would “by virtue of its overbearing nature would give rise to substantial harm to the residential amenity of adjacent properties within Howe Hill Close”

The planning meeting is taking place on Thursday


Latest planning applications for 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


99 Front Street York YO24 3BU

Proposal              Crown reduce Sycamore tree up to 2.5m in a Conservation Area

Reference           17/02666/TCA


26 Askham Lane York YO24 3HA

Proposal              Single storey rear extension

Reference           17/02601/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

£33+ million estimate for new York central access route

Compromise access route

The preferred option for an access bridge into the York Central site will cost between £33 & £43 million. The route will pass next the Millennium Green, but efforts are being made to minimise its impact.

The new route will effectively provide a by-pass for the Salisbury Terrace/Leeman Road housing area.

The compromise is described in a Council report published today following a period of consultation.

The report is good news for campaigners in the Holgate Road/ Wilton Rise community. They were set to be hit hardest by an access route using Chancery Rise. The Labour council bought the land that this route would have used in 2013 but offered little consultation with nearby residents. Quite how much this blunder has cost taxpayers is unclear at this stage.

So, fare around £3.7 million has been spent on planning work for York central plus site purchase of this £2.3 has come from York taxpayers. Now taxpayers are to be asked for a further £1.9 million to take the project forward.

In addition, the Council is being asked to find 3200,000 towards the costs of an expansion of the Railway Museum. The Museum hopes to invest around £50 million in their project

Following a “Master Planning” exercise for the site, a planning application is expected to be determined in Oct 2018

Consultation on access routes for York Central started in the last decade (see below)

Residents preferred access option location (Water End) remains the same!

Public consultation –
York central access options 2007



“Stay away” Tory leads to defeat on Willow House development

Willow House

The local Council Tory Leadership suffered a defeat this evening when their plan ot sell off land at Willow House was referred back for further consideration.

It is understood that one Conservative councillor absented himself from the meeting without appointing a substitute. (He was apparently elsewhere in West Offices when the meeting was taking place)

The result was that a vote on a “call in” was tied and the Labour chair used his casting vote to stall the development.

There are likely to be repercussions for the Council as the sale of the former elderly persons home site for development was needed to fund new elderly care homes.

The main concern apparently centred around an area of open space next to the home which would have been developed for the first time. Locals say that it is used for informal recreational activity.

There are several other controversial plans in the pipeline which would see similar open spaces developed. In the Acomb ward the development of the old Manor school playing field has been criticised while there is also a major campaign to save threatened open space at Lowfields.

The called in decision will now be referred back to the Executive who will have to decide whether to re-advertise the site for sale and, if so,  with what conditions. Further delays to the care programme seem inevitable.

The disagreement within the Tories is the latest in signs of unrest with Council Leader David Carr heavily criticised  since unilaterally sacking two executive members and later resisting publication of a report into contractor appointments.

Other projects such as the, Tory backed, shipping container village on Piccadilly and arrangements to sign the final Community Stadium contract are also mired in controversy.