The demolition contractors for the Windsor House/Lincoln Court/Hob Moor school developments have taken over the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) on Kingsway West.
It in no longer accessible for local children.
Councillors have reportedly agreed to it being used as a building compound.
Sections of the fencing around the area have been removed to allow access to a new service road. The entrance used by children has been secured.
While the loss of the play area is not unexpected following a controversial planning decision a few months ago, the failure of the Council to provide updates on when a replacement facility will be provided (and where) is very disappointing. The location favoured by Sports Clubs and local residents, is on the Thanet Road All Weather Sports area near the junction of Gale Lane and Thanet Road.
At one point the Council promised funding for a new facility but all has gone quiet since the LibDems took control of the Council at the beginning of May.
The loss of the sports facility comes in the wake of similar erosion of facilities in the Westfield area with the Lowfields playing field now being developed as is the Acomb Bowling Club.
The Our Lady’s school field was developed about 3 years ago.
Support for the provision of more public open space – possibly in the form of new strays – on the outskirts of the City is growing.
York residents are being invited to see the final plans for the St Georges Field and Castle Mills developments.
City of York Council is sharing plans for a multi-storey car park at St George’s Field, a new bridge over the Foss and a residential development at Castle Mills area ahead of submitting planning applications over the next two months.
The proposed developments are “the vital first stages to deliver the centrepiece of the vision for Castle Gateway – a new public space around Clifford’s Tower and the Eye of York”.
The four-storey car park at St George’s Field is “needed to replace the parking places which would be lost on the current Castle Car Park, and would be funded through the new residential apartment developments on the site of the now demolished Castle Mills Car Park. By moving the car park, the plan would remove a number of journeys from inside the inner ring road”.
As part of the plans a new public bridge spanning the River Foss would connect Piccadilly and the rear of the Castle Museum, opening up a planned cycle and pedestrian route along the river into town.
The plans involve the loss of 100 car parking spaces to which can be added to those already lost when the Castle Mill car park was closed a couple of years ago. The multi storey car park is further away from the main shopping streets. Its lower floor is likely to be unusable when river levels are high.
How the retail community will view this reality remains to be seen.
There is a new shared cycle/pedestrian crossing at the junction with the inner ring road. The proposal fails to separate these users from general traffic, a failing also evident in the solution proposed for cycle priority in the Leeman Road/Marble Arch area.
There will be a shared cycle/pedestrian bridge across the Foss near the rear of the Castle Museum.
More controversially the artists impressions for new residential buildings on Piccadilly show an unrelentingly brutal architectural approach. It will not be to everyone’s taste.
The Council claims that the plans have been refined since they were shared at public events, online and through social media in March.
The two drop-in events feature an exhibition of the proposals and the opportunity to talk to the team about the plans. There is also the chance to take guided walks of the area to explore the developments on location:
Saturday 1 June Drop-in 11am-2pm / Guided walks at 11:30am and 1pm Spark : York, Piccadilly
Wednesday 5 June Drop-in 3pm-7pm / Guided walks at 4pm and 6pm Friends Meeting House, Friargate
The Castle Gateway masterplan was created after City of York Council teamed up with a local group called My Future York to develop ‘My Castle Gateway’. The ongoing, open conversation has taken in walks, talks and conversations on social media to develop a brief and explore emerging ideas before this masterplan was finalised.
UPDATE: We understand that this planning application is being withdrawn. We are happy to point out that the Restore charity rents an office at the Gateway Church premises on Front Street but is otherwise not connected with that organisation.
Councillors on 6th June will consider a planning application to convert a property in St Stephens Road into homeless accommodation.
Four bedrooms in the semi-detached property will be let to individuals who are judged to be currently homeless. The application is associated with the Gateway Church in Acomb and is part of their “Restore” programme
It is unclear from where the clientele, intended to be
accommodated there, will come from. A few years ago, a similar application to
provide accommodation for former offenders in a property in Tithe Close also raised concerns.
Several residents have objected
to the plan which involves declaring the property a “House in Multiple
Occupation” (HMO). HMOs have a long history of controversy in parts of York with
family accommodation being converted to meet the demands of the City’s burgeoning
Maintenance issues prompted the Council a few years ago to
specify the maximum proportion of HMOS that there could be in a neighbourhood. This
was an attempt to retain “balanced” communities”.
The number of HMOS in the St Stephens Road area – which is
some distance from the nearest higher education facility – is not an issue.
There is only one other property nearby which has the designation.
Rather residents concerns have focused on the transient
nature of the likely occupants of the property.
They are concerned that few will stay long enough to become integrated into, what
is, a tight knit community.
Of course, we will never “solve” the problem of homelessness
if permanent accommodation options are not made available to those who fall on
difficult times. So, initiatives like these are generally to be welcomed.
The charity operates outside the direct control of the local
authority and therefore has a responsibility to be accountable to the local community.
The effectiveness of their management and communications is likely to be under scrutiny if the planning application is – as expected – approved.
Residents can attended and register to speak at the meeting taking place on 6th June.
As reported earlier in the week, residents living next to the Library in Acomb were dismayed to find that demolition contractors had taken over the adjacent Council owned land. The trespass apparently formed part of the plan to build on the bowling club
Several days later and things are even worse.
A 4 metre high mound of spoil has now appeared. It is only feet from the gardens of nearby homes
The Council appears to have done nothing other than send an environmental protection officer to the site to make an inspection.
The Council has remained tight lipped about whether they have granted permission for the work and whether the actions of the contractor breach planning regulations.
A refined set of plans which would see significant changes
in the area around York Minster have
A copy of the prospectus can be downloaded fromthis link
The proposals are both ambitious and respectful tot eh
heritage of both the Cathedral itself and the surrounding City.
They include a new “Queen Elisabeth Square” adjacent to the west end of the Minster. This is a welcome move towards the pedestrianisation of Duncombe Place. A vehicular access route – which will apparently still accommodate the Railway museums “Disney” train – has been retained.
The role of Deans Park as a quiet part of the City centre has been respected.
Likely to be more controversial – with the devil being in
the detail – are plans for new buildings in the area where Constantine currently
sits. The Roman will be rehoused further down Deangate, where he will be joined
by a statute of Queen Elisabeth II
A separate Deangate cycle
track is planned ending the present shared space arrangement with pedestrians. Access
only restrictions will be enforced ending the visits of parents to the entrance
to the Minster School. They will have a separate drop off point at the end of Duncombe
Place. The school itself will get enhanced facilities.
St Williams College will be brought back into use – not before time – and will accommodate Minster office staff. It is an old building, with an arcane layout, so good look to them with that.
The existing Church House administration offices will be
converted into flats which will be rented out.
There are plans to develop the Deanery garages as residential
accommodation for workers.
That may not suit everyone and there are some potentially awkward interfaces with the surrounding community. The new square, for example, doesn’t seem to make the best of the possible linkages to Stonegate.
But overall the proposals represent good progress and are being
progressed in an inclusive way which reflects well on their authors.
Responses to the consultation can be made via this link The consultation closes on 16th June 2019.
Works have started on the demolition of the bowling green buildings on Front Street. Planning permission was granted last year which allows developers to build 10 houses there.
The proposals were highly controversial as they ruled out a coordinated development which would have secured the future of the Council owned land (former allotments) to the rear of the library car park as well as the open aspect at the back of Chancery Court. A holistic approach was favoured by those residents who completed anopinion survey.
The planning committee inexplicably agreed a Section 106 contribution to the provision of alternative sports/green space facilities but at a site located in the Holgate area.
Now local residents are complaining about the noise and disturbance being caused by the contractors. It has been suggested that the contractors are trespassing on the Council owned land, which itself has a nature conservation role.
Residents have called on local Councillors to take action to ensure that the contractors respect the amenity of neighbouring properties
The future of the former allotments site needs to be clarified quickly by the Council which has owned it for over 10 years.
It was slated to be an extension to the library incorporating a “pocket park” to retain a green aspect for the benefit of the Front Street area.
However no progress has been made on that project.
The Lowfield Action Group Facebook page makes it clear that residents have major concerns about the current development works in the area.
There are continuing complaints about noise, dust and working hours extending beyond those approved in the planning permission.
Communications from the Council have been minimal although another exhibition is promised prior to the main contractor starting on site. The current contractor is only undertaking clearance and layout works.
One piece of good news is that work on providing an additional 3 parking spaces on Tudor Road is due to start next week.
The Council latest planning application, which should have been determined by the end of April, it is still outstanding.
There is still no sign of a planning application for the Care Home much less the health centre and “police station”, not that they were ever likely to materialise anyway.
“Yorspace” are apparently still trying to raise funds for their “communal living” scheme while the Councils decision to sell them land at a discounted rate may yet prove to have been illegal.
Hopefully the new Council will be able to find someone competent and sensitive to local residents views when they decide who will lead on housing and planning matters for the next 4 years.
Certainly communication and supervisory systems need major improvements.
A planing inspector has told the York Council to consult again on their plans to block MOD bases from being used for house building.
The planning inspectorate says that the changes – agreed earlier in the year – are major and require 6 weeks of public consultation.
The proposals mainly involved the Strensall camp where Natural England argued that redeveloping the base could adversely impact on the nearby nature reserve
In turn this meant that the Green Belt boundary would alter.
The move came as something of a surprise to the MOD who pointed out that part of the base was a previously developed brownfield site – the governments (and Councils) preferred location for housing developments.
The Inspector also wants to see the results of a consultation on new housing need figures. The figures had been scaled back following work by consultants who said that underlying housing demand figures were significantly lower than had previously been forecast.
The shock move means that the start of the “examination in public” will be put on ice again.
It is now unclear when the City can hope to have a fully approved Local Plan in place.