More delays to York Local Plan

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.

Planning Inspector delays York Local Plan

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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One application would see a major change to the design of replacement buildings at the site of 61a Gale Lane. Planning permission for the demolition of the bungalow was sought in 2017. Now it is to be replaced by 8 flats and 2 semi detached bungalows. There may be issues with parking provision and traffic generation on what is a busy junction. ——-

61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Erection of no.8 one bedroom apartments and no.2 two bedroom semi-detached bungalows following demolition of existing bungalow.

Ref. No: 19/00583/FULM 

61A Gale Lane 2017 plans
61A Gale Lane 2019 plans

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Replacement buildings 61A Gale Lane frontage view

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Lincoln Court Ascot Way York

Condition 13 (foul and surface water drainage)- 19/00083/FULM 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00147 

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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/

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

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 

The applications include changes to the layout and mix of properties at the major development site at Lowfields school. It includes details of the “village green” layout and the features to be incorporated.

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7 Radford House Windsor Garth York YO24 4QL

Proposal              Installation of access ramp to front

Ref         19/00645/FUL

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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/

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

Spark container village – payments to Council revealed

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the York Council has revealed that it has received £13,333 in rent from the Spark container village on Piccadilly since they first arrived in September 2017.
Spark April 2018

This amounts to little more than £700 a month since the organisation took over the prime site.

No payments have been received by the Council from the “profit sharing” scheme agreed as part of the deal to allow shipping containers to be installed on the site. The council says it is still awaiting receipt of accounts for last year. The last accounts filed by Spark were for the year ending March 2018.

£19,856 is owed by Spark and its tenants for Business Rates. The Council says that it is taking recovery action.

The original Spark business pitch to the Council talked about a £71,000 profit each year. Part of this was to be used to repay the Council’s initial investment (which cost over £40,000) in new utility infrastructure,

The container village has been controversial from the start with long delays in meeting some planning conditions. An instruction to replace graffiti style street art with cladding on the Piccadilly frontage is still outstanding (click for background)

The contract allows for the Council to take back the site if, after 21 days, the tenants have failed to pay the rent or complied with their obligations under the Lease.

Many of the individual units have been empty over recent months.

Although warmer weather may give the containers a temporary boost in customer numbers, it is surely long overdue for the Council to test the market by advertising the site for permanent redevelopment.

York Council response to Freedom of Information request 29th April 2019

Latest planning application 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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Dryfix Preservation Ltd The Yard Tudor Road York YO24 3AY

Proposal              Display of non-illuminated gate mounted sign measuring 1.85m by 1.75m (retrospective).

Reference           19/00761/ADV

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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/

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

Council election manifestos compared

6. Planning and Social Care

A draft Local Plan agreed for submission in 2011 would have seen 575 homes per annum built in the City.

10 year housing completions trend in York

Labours “Big City” approach alternative was floated in 2013.  It would have seen the City grow by 25%. Many of the houses would have been built in the Green Belt, which would have been damaged irreparably. The plan never reached the public inquiry stage.

During the last three years an average of 1131 additional homes have been provided in the City each year.

This compares to an average, over the last 10 years, of 652.

The latest Local Plan – still not adopted – envisages 790 homes a year being provided. This is still much higher than ONS projects say is necessary and would require a sustained growth in jobs, the scale of which has not been not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

Labours manifesto still advocates building in the Green Belt.

The number of York residents supported at home through care package is around 1800. About 650 residents are admitted to nursing or residential care each year. The figures are stable

Over the last 18 months the numbers of delayed discharges from hospital resulting from unavailable “care in the community” facilities has fluctuated between 4 and 11 patients.

There have been delays in the Councils elderly persons new accommodation strategy. Although some homes have closed, there has been little progress “on site” in building new facilities at Oakhaven, Lowfield, Haxby etc.

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 

The applications include changes to the layout and mix of properties at the major development site at Lowfields school. It includes details of the “village green” layout and the features to be incorporated there. It also raises the height of the houses at ground to “avoid flooding”. Most of the buildings now incorporate Photovoltaic Cells on their roofs.

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Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Non-material amendment to planning permission Ref: 17/02428/FULM – Changes to bedrooms, house types, elevations, PV, masterplan, FFL’s, Village Green and boundary treatments. 

Ref. No: 19/00685/NONMAT 

“Village Green layout

Overall layout

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63 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DJ

Conditions 3,4 and 7 of 17/00884/FUL 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00108 

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36 The Green Acomb York YO26 5LR

Fell 2 no. Conifer trees in a Conservation Area 

Ref. No: 19/00670/TCA

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78 Bramham Avenue York YO26 5DE

Single storey rear extension 

Ref. No: 19/00525/FUL 

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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/

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

York Council sold land to “Yorspace” without affordable homes conditions

A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the Council DID NOT require, that the land it sold at Lowfields to the “Yorspace” commune, must be used to provide affordable housing.

The land was sold for £300,000 – approximately 50% below its open market value.

A smaller plot of land at the other end of the Lowfields school site is currently being marketed for offers over £400,000.

The discounted sale  decision was taken in private by a Council official.

The Council claims that they had an independent valuation made on the site. They don’t say on what basis they discounted the value.

They did, however, depend on  Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to dispose of the land at below market value. It was assumed – but not transparently recorded in the decision notice – that this was to facilitate the provision of more affordable housing.

This assumption was brought into question when a Council Housing Officer said, in response to Yorspace’s planning application to build 19 units on the 0.785 acre site, that the new homes could not be counted as “affordable”

The FOI response goes on to say, “This valuation was for a plot of land for community build housing with utility connections and a road to the edge of the site. Therefore, the price to be paid by Yorspace includes an allowance for infrastructure works. Yorspace will be paying for the construction of the car parking bays which are within their proposed red line ownership boundary”.

 “Any areas of road and parking will belong to Yorspace and it will be   their responsibility to maintain this. However, the public footpath in this area is likely to become adopted highway and therefore maintained by the council”.

Clearly there are “smoke and mirrors”  aspects to this transaction which will require the attention of the Auditors.

Another option for the Council would have been to develop the site itself to provide 19 more Council homes. The homes could then have been let direct to those on the housing waiting list. The Council has more freedom now to borrow to fund new Council homes.

NB. Despite some new builds, “Right to Buy” applications have seen the Council housing stock in York reduce from 7728 in 2016 to 7617 two years later.

Share your views on the York Station planning application

Plans that will see the front of York Railway Station transformed with the removal of Queen Street Bridge and reorganising the layout leading into the station are now available to comment on using the planning portal.

The plans were submitted last month following an extensive public consultation in summer 2018 which saw over 1,500 people share their feedback on the scheme. People now have the opportunity to comment on the submission at www.york.gov.uk/planning (ref no19/00535/FULM and 19/00542/LBC). Following this it is expected to go before the planning committee in summer.

Following feedback from the public consultation designers altered the master plan to take into account the comments.

Different landowners and funding arrangements mean that plans for the area will be delivered in phases, each with appropriate partners, planning approval and timescales. We’re working closely with Network Rail, London North Eastern Railway and Northern Powerhouse.

The project to transform the front of York Station will receive funding through the West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment through the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

For more information about York Station front visit www.york.gov.uk/stationfront

Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

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

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference 

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                1 Raynard Court York YO24 3GA

Proposal              Single storey side and rear extension (resubmission).

Reference           19/00355/FUL

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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/

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