Planning application to be determined on 13th August
Council official are recommending that planning permission be granted to build 93 houses on the site of York City Football Clubs existing stadium. The Club is expected to move to a new stadium at Monks Cross later this year.
The development, which has been in the pipeline for over a decade, will comprise 12 one bed, 33 two bed, 37 three bed and 11 four bed properties. Of these 18 (20%) will be classed as “affordable”.
The plans incorporate a heritage proposal agreed with Historic England which acknowledges the significance of the football ground over the last 90 years.
It consequently incorporates the following elements that will give distinctive character to the development and evidence the site’s past use –
A memorial garden and a retained section of the west stand. The retained section of terrace along with evidence of the location of the centre circle within the landscaping will allow for orientation and evidence of the previous layout of the site.
The ‘proposed flag location’ annotated on the site plan relates to the flag present at the football ground (in a similar location). Historically the flag was lowered gradually towards the end of the game.
The west brick boundary wall, which predates use of the site by the football club will be retained (it will be lowered removing the blockwork).
The report goes on to say,
The retained terrace and tunnel will provide a lasting legacy of the stadium and create a focal point for memory and orientation. The location of the retained terrace and tunnel matches the desired position on the halfway line at the midpoint of the Popular Stand and in front of the POS. The precise length of the section will be determined by conservation, engineering and health and safety considerations but is not expected to exceed 6m.
The preferred location for the memorial garden is around the base of this structure to provide discreet location for remembrance. The side walls of the terrace could be used to support memorial plaques etc, while caskets and ashes could be buried at the base of the walls. Some existing metal fencing and gates in the Popular Stand could be appropriated to secure the perimeter at the top of the terrace and ends of the tunnel. Similarly, the wooden picket fence in front of the Popular Stand should be reclaimed to border the memorial garden.
The idea of recreating the centre circle in the middle of the POS is applauded, it would be in alignment with the retained section of terrace and provide a further place for orientation.
The flagpole was originally located between the south-east corner of the pitch and the stadium entrance. It is suggested that the new flagpole is erected as close as possible to this original location, and that it flies a replica of the club flag as a permanent and symbolic reminder of fans’ allegiance to Bootham Crescent. Its proposed location does not exactly match the original position, but it is as near as possible in the proposed layout. Ideally, like the centre circle, it should be slightly further south and east, closer to the new entrance.
Any development will not take place until both the football and Rugby Clubs have moved to the – much delayed – new stadium. Commissioning work there is still apparently held up by the after affects of the pandemic. Social distancing regulations currently make it impossible to stage large scale trial events there, an essential prerequisite for stadium certification.
Details of the planning committee report can be found by clicking here
Labour have “called in” the decision to move forward with the York Central development. It casts new doubt on a project which has yet to receive detailed planning permission.
Labour cite post pandemic economic concerns as one of the justifications for shelving the project. They also question the conditions attached to the governments £77 million investment in the plans (see below). They apparently believe that the ambitions of the “House of Lords” have not been accommodated.
Meanwhile, the York Central Partnership has welcomed the government’s confirmation of the £77.1m funding to help to unlock the homes, better paid jobs and community spaces on the brownfield site.
The Minstry of Housing, Communities and Local government has written to the City of York Council to confirm the arrangements for the funding, which will be awarded to Homes England and Network Rail as the major landowners on the site. Under the arrangement, City of York Council will be reimbursed for the money it has committed to keep the project moving.
The funding is a major piece in a £155m funding package put together by the council working with fellow York Central Partnership members Homes England, Network Rail and National Railway Museum to fund the infrastructure works to unlock the brownfield site. The first phase of this work will include the access road bridge and spine road through the site, a pedestrian bridge on Water End and a rail link to the National Railway Museum.
Councillor Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said:
“This is fantastic news for York. Our early investment and continued commitment, even during the pandemic, was essential to secure this investment.
The funding is a vital step to unlocking a £1.16bn boost to our economy, and delivering a new generation of jobs and hundreds of affordable homes, when York needs it most.
The York Central Partnership is delivering where decades of proposals have failed. Our shared vision for an ambitious development which delivers cleaner, greener growth and a fairer economy in York underpins the entire project, and we will keep playing our part to make York Central deliver for the whole city.
It’s also yet another important milestone following outline planning approval last year, funding agreements with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the York and North Yorkshire LEP.
This is the result of a lot of hard work by the York Central Partnership, and further demonstration of our commitment to an ambitious scheme which will give York the jobs and homes it needs as the outline planning application for York Central includes proposals to build up to 2,500 homes, including affordable homes, and a commercial quarter creating up to 88,000m2 of high quality office space. “
It also includes:
pedestrian and cycle route provision into and through the site
low levels of parking spaces
high sustainable design standards built into the design guide
around £15m developer contributions to deliver the sustainable transport infrastructure ensuring more bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
This £155m funding package also includes £23.5m of a total of £37.2m from the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and Leeds City Region Growth Deal, which will also fund the ambitious plans to transform the front of the railway station.
The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, a £1 billion package of Government funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region. The aim is to create around 20,000 new jobs and add £2.4 billion a year to the economy by the mid-2030s.
City of York Council has also received a Local Growth Fund contribution of £6m from York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and agreed to borrow £35m to be repaid using retained business rates from the York Central Enterprise Zone.
The Yorkshire Water’s work on Tudor Road, which is intended to provide services to the Lowfields development, continues to make slow progress.
Tudor Road and the public footpath were blocked for a couple of weeks from 15th June. Work on the main carriageway continued until early July. It was expected that delivery lorries to the Lowfields development site – which had been using Dijon Avenue – would then return to using the authorised Tudor Road entrance.
That hasn’t proved to be the case with lorries still trundling down Dijon Avenue each day. It seems the 2 month duration will pass before there is any relief.
Meanwhile the section of the site reserved for the Yorspace communal housing scheme has been taken over by Wates builders. They have established a spoil heap there and are also storing other materials on the site. Apparently the cooperative still haven’t actually completed the purchase of the land and it remains unclear whether the promised homes will ever actually get built.
Average house prices in Dijon Avenue – next to the new “Lowfields Green development – are around £191,000. A 3 bedroomed semi is estimated to be worth between £188,000 and £208,000 according to the Zoopla web site. Prices are similar in nearby Lowfields Drive.
The announcement that the new “Clover” three bed, 94 sq. mtr, semi would cost £295,000 raised many eyebrows. With average salaries of £26,000 a year in York, that means a working couple would be able to borrow a maximum of £234,000 with repayments set at £1109 per month. They would also need a deposit of £60,000.
So we can safely say that the houses aren’t aimed at first time buyers.
Shape homes are offering a “shared ownership” option on some smaller properties. Two 2-bedroomed semi-detached houses (The Burdock) are for sale for between 25%-75% of the whole sale price of £225,000 (for example, a 30% share would cost £67,500). The Council have already completed deals elsewhere in the City for about 30 shared ownership homes. In most of those cases the prospective occupant identified a propriety that was available on the open market and asked the Council to buy half. The occupiers then pay part mortgage and part rent.
Finally seven “social rent” properties will be available. Two are 2-bedroomed semi-detached houses and there are five2-bedroomed semi-detached bungalows. Rent levels for the properties have not been revealed, although they will be much less than the £800 pm commercial rents being asked for similar properties in the area. Applicants will need to be on the housing waiting list although it is possible that preference will be given to Council tenants seeking to downsize from larger properties (freeing them, in turn, for family occupation).
Old Bowling Green semi
By way of comparison, a new 3 bed semion the prestigious Old Bowling Green site on Front Street is listed for sale at £310,000 It has 90 sq. metres of floorspace and is arguably better located than the houses at “Lowfields Green”. Building work on the site will also conclude shortly.
Quite how the £295,000 price for the Lowfields semi has been arrived at was not made clear in the business case figures published by the Council.
It can only serve to stoke house price inflation at a time when many are feeling the pressures arising from the health crisis.
Some cross subsidy of the rented units was expected across the whole site.But that doesn’t explain the £50,000 premium apparently now being sought.
The Council may also point to high standards of thermal efficiency, but it would take over 100 years to repay the extra “up-front” costs through energy bill savings.
NB This application relates mainly to the detailed design of a playground. The playground is designed for use by those staying at the disabled centre. It is not a replacement for the games area (MUGA) which was publicly accessible and aimed at older children. A statement from the Council on the MUGA replacement – which it was hoped would be provided on the Thanet Road Sports area – is still awaited.
22 Otterwood Lane York YO24 3JR
Two storey side extension following demolition of existing single storey side extension and pitched roof over existing flat roof front porch
Revised plans have been submitted to improve York Station Front with the removal of Queen Street Bridge and a reorganisation of the transport interchange in front of the station.
Following comments raised throughout the 2019 Station front planning process, revised plans to transform York Station Front have been submitted for consultation. This will see an addendum added to modify several areas of the original planning application, following further consultation with partners, residents and station users.
The key changes to the scheme include:
A redesigned multi-storey car park. After consulting with English Heritage, plans for the car park have been revised to better respect the heritage of the railway and York RI. This will also move all the station parking into one area making it better visually.
The layout of parcel square has been redesigned so it is more in keeping with station heritage, and in conversation with existing parcel square tenants to give them a prime location in the remodelled station.
Five on-street parking spaces removed from Queen Street to allow a safer cycle route to promote active travel, whilst reducing congestion around the station.
A lot more detail including an interesting historical analysis of the station site can be read by clicking here
Illustrative York Central Masterplan approved in 2019
Most attention is currently focusing on a reserved matter planning application for the site which is due to be considered by the Council shortly.
There are several controversial aspects to that plan not least some of the transport proposals. Pedestrians have objected to the loss of the route in front of the Railway Museum, while a plan to restrict access through the Leeman Road tunnel (Marble Arch) has been widely vilified.
One area that has had little scrutiny is the southern access to the site.
Currently this comprises a footbridge over the railway line at the top of Wilton Rise. It is inaccessible for disabled people and very awkward for cyclists. A proposal for a parallel access general traffic route into the site via Chancery Rise was discounted 2 year ago leaving the fate of the footbridge still to be determined.
Now the Council is being recommended to hand back the Chancery Rise site to Network Rail . They will use it to accommodate activities displaced from the York Central main development site.
Provision for cyclists is crude
A report to a meeting next week says that £6.2 million is needed to fund the southern access. That is a substantial investment in a project which has not yet been subject to public consultation or a planning application.
Papers for the meeting which considered an outline masterplan in 2019 contained little detail of the proposal (although at that time the whole of Wilton Rise was included within the development site boundary). Wilton Rise is an unadopted highway
The current retained matters planning application pointedly has a boundary which excludes consideration of issues relating to the southern access. Nor is any mention made of any ramp within the application area which would be necessary to gain access to the foot/cycle bridge or of reserved links to the new infrastructure and spine road.
The man concerns though will be about what happens on the Wilton Rise side of the railway line.
If the Chancery Rise land is taken out of the options list, then the only possible footbridge access would be from Wilton Rise or the Cleveland Street area.
Such an access would require substantial ramping and could conflict with the indicative master plan agreed less than a year ago.
The Council needs to be more clear about its plans and hoped for milestones on the southern access.