Work begins on Lincoln Court double glazing

Lincoln Court

Work has started on modernising the apartments in Lincoln Court. New windows are being fitted in advance of the expected demolition of the adjacent Windsor House building.

What happens next is dependent on decisions being taken by the Councils planning committee on Thursday (West Offices, 4:30pm).

The planning committee will be visiting the area tomorrow (Wednesday) morning shortly after 10:00am.

Future of all weather ball games area – more confusion

The area under the adjacent trees has been tidied. The MUGA can now be viewed form Lincoln Court following a request from residents there to have boundary hedges cut back.

Correspondence has emerged which casts further doubt on the Council plans for the Kingsway Multi User Games Area (MUGA).

It appears that in October Sport England did clearly object to the removal of the facility.

It followed an extraordinary exchange of Emails in September in which the Council made several bogus claims about the area not having been used for “7 years”.

The Council goes on to say

“As part of the development outlined within this planning application the MUGA will not exist in its current form however there will be alternative provision of physical activity equipment at a suitable location within the Ward”.

No mention is made of the type and location of this “alternative provision” in the planning officers report to the committee on Thursday.

Residents will want to know more before any decisions are taken.

Council Email in September

Sport England response in October

Residents sceptical about Council planning applications.

Concerns ignored in committee report as play, congestion and parking fears rise

Kingsway area residents have expressed concerns that their views have been ignored in reports being presented to a planning committee meeting on Thursday. The reports consider plans for new developments in the area on Council owned land.

Newbury Avenue

The lack of alternative car parking provision was a major issue in the Newbury Avenue area when planning permission to demolish 28 garages was granted last May. The planning committee specifically required that 4 alternative spaces be constructed before demolition works started. This would have involved moving a telecoms cabinet which would have taken about 8 weeks to complete. 24 weeks later it turns out that the Council have only just asked the telecoms companies to act. Rather disingenuously the Council states that, as the garages are now all empty, demolishing them will not add to the parking problems in the area. They don’t admit that, despite a long waiting list of people wanting to rent them,  the Council stopped new lettings in 2012. It was this action that has contributed to the parking problems which are already apparent in the area.

Hob Moor School playing field

It has been known for some time that the Council intended to expand by building on the school playing field which lies to the rear of Windsor House and Lincoln Court. It came as something of surprise to many residents that this included the demolition of the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) Early in the consultation process the Council said that any sports or play facilities that were affected would be provided elsewhere on the site.

This is now under question.

Children’s ball games facility threatened

The proposal at Hob Moor school is for  “a playing pitch on presently unused land to the east of the school together with an area of informal “Forest School” activities including a wetland, timber walkway and a fabric covered outdoor teaching space”.

The new location, “ comprises an area of unimproved grassland which partially includes an area of derelict ridge and furrow of good quality which represents a survivor of a once more elaborate area surrounding the outskirts of the City and dating back to the Medieval period”.

There is no mention of either an all-weather kick about area or any other play facility being re-provided.

Windsor House

The redevelopment of this site mentions the need for” a Community Use Agreement” for the new school playing field.

It is unclear with whom the agreement would be, for what hours and via with what access route?

The report on the Windsor House site dismiss the concerns raised in a petition collected by local residents. Officials accept that the local highway network is sub-standard (too narrow to meet modern standards). They claim only about 18 car trips a day would be generated by the 42 members of staff who will work at the new Children’s Centre. They claim 13 parking spaces will be adequate.

The officials conveniently forget that parking problems in the area have already been exacerbated by other building works including the 66 additional homes at Hob Stones.

Changing lifestyles mean that many more delivery vans also now visit the area.

At the very least the Council should ensure that there is a service road provided, from the parking area at the Hob Moor school, to the rear access to the centre. This might reduce the traffic impact on Kingsway West while providing an access for mini buses carrying disabled children and for deliveries.

Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court. Work has started on replacing windows. Concerns about parking

The proposal would see an additional 10 “extra care” bedrooms provided on the site. There are currently 22 apartments located on there. These are

being modernised with work having started recently on providing new double glazing. These will generate additional traffic and parking demands.

The report makes the outrageous claim that the MUGA is “disused”; something that officials apparently told the Sports Council in a bid to get them to withdraw their objection to the closure plan.

In fact, the Council suspended routine maintenance on the facility while discussions took place and later secured the entrance to prevent use. Funding had been made to provide “off the streets” activities there last summer but this was never implemented.

The MUGA has now been renovated and is once again usable with surrounding vegetation cleared back

It seems that west York faces a further loss of green fields and play facilities.

Inadequate parking provision will blight the area while congestion levels will increase

The neighbourhood deserves better.

Disabled children’s centre site plan 1

Lincoln Court expansion plans 2018

 

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward – Newbury Avenue changes being “fast tracked”

 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


Newbury Avenue garage block which could be demolished before alternative car parking spaces are provided.

Garage Court Site At Newbury Avenue York

Variation of condition 16 of permitted application 18/00410/GRG3 to alter date of providing 4 public parking spaces to prior to commencement of the superstructure of the bungalows. (NB. This involves demolishing the garages before alternative off street parking spaces are provided) 

Ref. No: 18/02441/GRG3 

Although this application has only just been submitted it is being “fast tracked” and will be determined at a planning sub committee meeting taking place on Thursday 6th December. The officer recommendation is that authority be delegated to approve the application. To ensure that their representations are considered by Councillors, residents should email any comments to planning.comments@york.gov.uk asap (Quote ref: 18/02441/GRG3 ).

The planning committee meeting will  start at 4.30 pm at West Offices, Station Rise, York.

Residents may attend the meeting and make representations on the officer recommendations (which are to approve the application). Residents may suggest additional conditions which should be attached to any approval. Alternatively, concerns can be emailed to the meeting clerk marked for the attention of the Councillors who will be  making the decisions.

Email:  christopher.elliott@york.gov.uk

You have the right to speak at the meeting on 6th December. If you wish to speak, you must register this by telephoning (01904) 551088, and asking for or a Democracy Officer before 5:00pm on Wednesday 5th December.

Please let him/her know if you would like a copy of the Committee report.

Further details are available of the Councils web site https://tinyurl.com/YPCDec2018

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71 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DJ

Display of 1no. externally illuminated business signboard

Ref. No: 18/02637/ADV 

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3 Otterwood Bank York YO24 3JS

Single storey side and rear extension

Ref. No: 18/02339/FUL 

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71 Bellhouse Way York YO24 3LL

Conservatory to rear

Ref. No: 18/02337/FUL 

——

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

Bid to bring empty Coney Street shop back into use. Lord Mayor of York opens local “pop-up” shop on Friday

Coney Street, York

The pop-up, which will be officially opened by The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Keith Orrell, is the latest expansion from Fabrication Crafts Ltd, a social enterprise originally based in Leeds that aims to provide skilled craft people with a place to sell their work.

The store will sell locally made products created by talented crafts people from both York and Leeds. Items will include clothing, home ware, furniture and food, as well as the option to order bespoke items.

Established in 2008, Fabrication works with a number of community organisations including Yorkshire Federated Housing’s Passion4Fashion project. The pop-up shop on Coney Street will remain open throughout the festive season until February.

The shop is being run in partnership with the National Trust, in an attempt to tackle empty properties across the country owned by the body, which may struggle to find tenants due to their listed statuses.

This particular Grade II listed Coney Street building was originally built in the 1600s before being remodelled in the 20th century.

David Morgan, General Manager for the National Trust in York, said: “This building is one of the oldest in York and formed part of the estate of Frank Green, who gave Treasurer’s House to the National Trust.

Cllr Keith Orrell

“All rental income from our commercial properties helps to support the beautiful York gardens and houses in our care and we are really pleased to see the building come to life once more with a community focused brand such as Fabrication.”

The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Keith Orrell, said: “It’s great to be able to open this new venture for Fabrication, especially in the heart of York.

“It is very important that we support local business and continue to work in partnership with the National Trust, who have helped us preserve this historic estate.”

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

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Footway To North Of Quaker Wood Public House Acomb Wood Drive York YO24 3XN

Proposal      Installation of replacement 17.5m slim-line monopole supporting 3no. shrouded antennas, 1no. replacement equipment cabinet, 1no. side pod cabinet, 1no. additional meter cabinet and ancillary development there to including 1no. GPS module.

Reference   18/02597/FUL

This site is located in the Dringhouses ward but may impact on residents living in the Westfeld area

——

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/

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

York Council “fouls up” on Newbury Avenue development plans

Parking lay-by location

The York Council is planning to delay the provision of alternative off street parking spaces in Newbury Avenue. The spaces – to be located outside the block of flats containing numbers 10 to 16 – were to have been provided to offset the loss of off-street parking space when the adjacent  garages are replaced with 5 bungalows.

The bungalow planning application was approved – with the parking condition – on 3rd May 2018. Officials are now saying that a Virgin media box, located outside the flats, will have to be moved and that this work could take between 6 and 8 weeks.

However, the junction box was already in place when the Planning committee met. It appears that officials had authorised the cabinet location knowing that there was a proposal to provide a lay-by.

Garages to be demolished

Now they want to demolish the garages before any alternative parking is provided.

The Planning committee’s decision, taken in May, was controversial because the 4 parking spaces proposed were not adequate to meet existing parking demands. Objectors asked the committee to make a Section 106 order requiring the developers to fund alternative, off street, spaces in the Windsor Gath/Kingsway West area.

Unfortunately, the committee failed to do so.

Any proposal to delay proving the planned four spaces would add insult to injury.

Insufficient off street parking space available

The new Virgin telecoms cabinet was provided after the plans for the area were published but before the planning committee made its decision on 3rd May 2018. It seems that the part of the Council which approves the location of footway plant acted without consulting the section of the Council which deals with developments.

Planning Councillor were well aware of he location of the telecoms cabinet before they made their decisions.

Other plans to provide alternative off street parking lay-bys in the area are mired in delay and have been for several years now.

Residents can object to the Councils latest plan.

Objectors should visit the “planning on line” web site click and insert reference 18/00410/GRG3 in the search facility,. Objections must be lodged before 11th December.

York Station front – 1,500 public consultation responses

Councillors will receive an update on the York Station front project and be asked to approve the submission of a planning application and the progression of the scheme to detailed design when they meet on Thursday 29 November.

The York Station front project aims to revitalise and re-imagine the historic station to ensure it is a fitting and prestigious gateway into York.

The project has had significant public interest, with nearly 1,500 responses during the extensive public consultation. This has lead to design changes for Executive to now consider.   Permission to enter into land acquisition negotiations with stakeholders and landowners is also requested.

York Station consultation leaflet

The York Station front masterplan has four main aims:

  • create new public spaces and a more inclusive, pedestrian-friendly experience
  • create an improved setting for the City Walls and other heritage buildings in the area
  • make it easier to change between modes of transport
  • keep vehicles and pedestrians apart

If approved, it is proposed that the planning application based on the amended masterplan will be submitted soon after.

Changes to the masterplan following the consultation include:

  • Moving the cycleway on Queen Street to reduce conflict with on street parking spaces
  • Providing safe access for cyclists to the station from the west-bound carriageway
  • Provision for a suitable system for managing rail replacement buses
  • Incorporating appropriate counter-terrorism measures that are sympathetic to the station setting

The station masterplan is based on eight key features which work together to improve how the space is used in front of York Station. It is dependent on removing Queen Street Bridge to create extra space, which would then be used to separate vehicle and pedestrian access, create new open areas and reveal long-hidden views of the City Walls.

Executive takes place on Thursday 29 November from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online 

(more…)

A Big, Big, £155 million decision for York Council next week

Councillors are rarely asked to make more far reaching decisions than the one they will have to take, about the future of the York Central site, next week. They will approve a £155 million budget to fund “abnormal infrastructure costs” with £45 million of it coming from Council resources. Of this, an additional £35 million will be borrowed.

The Council has already spent £5.4 million of its existing £10 million York Central budget.

The Council hopes to recover its investment through increased business rates payments generated by the new commercial premises that will be built on the site. It is unclear how national government policy may develop on business rate discounts and planning exemptions for those occupying properties in Enterprise Zones.

The abnormal costs arise from a new access bridge, highway cycle and pedestrian routes into and through the site, a new station entrance, a 5.5 ha park, 3 public squares with enabling ground works, site clearance, remediation and utilities supply.

York Central Partnership (YCP) is a partnership of landowning bodies on the York Central site and is comprised of Network Rail, Homes England National Railway Museum and CYC. Over the last 3 years YCP have developed a comprehensive masterplan for the 72 ha site and are currently awaiting the determination of an outline planning application for the 45ha main site to the west of the railway station, which will deliver up to 112,000 sq. m of commercial space and up to 2500 homes as well as a large park, public squares and an expanded Railway Museum (over a net developable area of c25ha).

A report to Councillors says, “This abnormal enabling infrastructure cost of £155m means that without significant public funding the site is simply not viable and the compound risks of preparing the site for development are not likely to be acceptable to the market. It is therefore proposed that the YCP, having undertaken the enablement and funded the work to date, continue to take the role of infrastructure deliverer for the first phase of infrastructure (CYC) and master developer (NR and Homes England as the predominant land owners on the site), in order to de-risk the project and bring it within viable financial parameters. 

Through doing this, the partnership will also exert influence over the timing, nature and quality of development, to optimise fit with policy and corporate objectives whilst respecting the important relationships with local communities, the rest of the city and the historic setting of the site”.

The Council would recover its investment from additional Business Rate income generated by the site. The report forecasts that there could be a maximum cumulative risk to taxpayers of £11.4 million if commercial development is “slow” on the development.

No estimate has been given on the additional annual revenue costs for the Council as the site occupiers start to use public services (e.g. waste collection, lighting etc.) in the City.

The developers do not, at present, have an identified core tenant for the office units.

It is hoped that some residential units on the site may be marketed as early as next year. It is likely to be 2021 before the access roads and bridges are completed.

Any decision by the Council to commit to the expenditure next week will once again mean that there are potential conflicts of interest between the authority as an investor and in  its role as an “independent” planning authority.

The Councils record on impartially determining applications in which it has a financial interest (e.g. Lowfields) has been disappointing in recent years

NB. Figures being reported to the same meeting next week reveal that the York Council will – before taking on the above debt – owe £213.1 million. This will increase to £314.2 million by 2022. By the same date, 18% of council tax payments will be used just to to pay interest and principal repayment charges on Council borrowing.

Oakhaven delays – Council admits it will be Autumn 2020 before new home is completed.

Oakhaven

We reported last week that plans to provide a new elderly persons home on the Oakhaven site in Acomb (Holgate) had run into severe difficulties.

Now a Council report has revealed that the replacement facility will not open until the autumn of 2020.

That would be nearly three years after the original target date. The report offers no explanation for the delay.

Other schemes like the upgrade to Lincoln court have overtaken the Oakhaven project.

Elderly residents were decanted out of the building in 2016.

So far no planning application for the Oakhaven site has been submitted. One is not now expected until the summer.

In 2015 we said that the Council’s poor project management record could result in delays to the project.

However, no one forecast that they would be this bad.