Bonding Warehouse media centre plan abandoned

Bonding Warehouse

Bonding Warehouse

Media reports suggest that the Bonding warehouse is no longer being considered as a possible “media and creative centre”.

Taxpayers will be relieved.

Many residents were aghast last year when the flood prone building was put on a shortlist for the project.

It had been sold by the Council at the height of the property boom 5 years ago but had failed to find a new use. Access during high water levels in the Ouse makes the building inaccessible in its present form.

In total around £3.6 million of taxpayers’ money was earmarked for the project. No convincing business plan has yet been published with earlier estimates suggesting that the private sector would contribute only around 20% of the investment costs.

In the autumn even Labour Councillors began to challenge the wisdom of the project.

It was revealed that taxpayers had already footed a £25,000 bill for the – now abandoned – Bonding Warehouse project.

It seems that the focus of attention for this project is now switching to the Guildhall which has been empty now for 3 months.

There is likely to be more widespread support for the use of the modern office next at the Guildhall as some sort of business centre. Whether the financial figures can be made to stack up remains to be seen.

If the Council is now beginning to jettison some of its more harebrained schemes then they could look again at their proposed £100,000 investment in an “Arts Barge”.

We remain sceptical about the need for any additional arts venue in the City, but it would be better to site any such facility on dry land. The Guildhall might just allow 2 birds to be killed with one stone …. But taxpayers will want to see more convincing evidence that the projects can be self funding.

NB. The owners of the Bonding Warehouse are understood to be pursuing its possible use as a restaurant, offices and flats.

York residents on consultation overload

York-street-sign-great-britain-798670_305_200

After 2 years with virtually no consultation with residents, York is heading towards an overdose this month.

The latest is asking about how the City centre should look and be preserved.

Other consultations taking place at present include:

20 mph city wide speed limit. Deadline for receipt of objections 21st June 2013 www.york20mph.org Alternative view

Local Plan & the Green Belt — Deadline 31st July. www.york.gov.uk/local plan Alternative view

New ward boundaries (Boundary Commission). Deadline 5th August http://tinyurl.com/Wards-June-2013 Alternative view:

The new consultation talks about the importance of having a “fully accessible” City. The consultation runs for eight-weeks until Wednesday 31 July.

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Have your say on York’s heritage

In partnership with the local community group York Open Planning Forum, City of York Council is inviting people to have their say on introducing a list of York’s local heritage, through an eight-week consultation.

Running side-by-side with the Local Plan consultation, between Wednesday 5 June and Wednesday 31 July, the ‘Local Heritage List’ consultation asks people for their views on whether we should have such a list in York and what criteria should be used to select assets that contribute to the special local architectural and historic character of the city.
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List of Acomb and Westfield Wards planning applications received last week

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council. Full details can be found by clicking by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Click here.
http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

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

Ref No: 13/01459/FUL Location: 16 Church Gate York YO26 5BW Proposal: Loft conversion with 1no. rooflight to front and 3no. rooflights to rear Applicant: Mr And Mrs Gibson Contact: Mr Andy Sykes Consultation Expiry Date: 24 June 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level: DEL

List of planning applications received by the York Council between 18th – 22nd Mar

Below is the latest list of planning applications received by the York Council. Full details can be found by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Click here.

Representations can also be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the planning portal.

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

Westfield

• Ref No: 13/00531/ADV Location: 65 – 71 York Road Acomb York YO24 4LN Proposal: Display of internally illuminated fascia, projecting sign and ATM signs Applicant: Lloyds Banking Group Contact Mr Greg Miller Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013 Case Officer: Victoria Bell Expected Decision Level DEL

• Ref No: 13/00581/FUL Location: 54 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS Proposal: Conversion of existing flat into 2no. flats with external alterations including rear spiral stair and walkway and rear dormer Applicant: Mr Graham Plunton Contact Mr J Funnell Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013 Case Officer: Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision

Housing completions still falling in York

The Council is obliged to produce an “Annual Monitoring Review” which looks at how it’s performance compares to its targets.

The latest available is for the 2011/12 year. It can be viewed here.

The number of homes completed in the City in each of the last 10 years is as follows

House building, Norfolk

2003 – 669
2004 – 1193
2005 – 949
2006 – 875
2007 – 557
2008 – 502
2009 – 606
2010 – 572
2011 – 354
2012 – 171 (first 6 months excluding specialist student units)

Of the 171 only 29 were classified as “affordable”.

The Cabinet member with responsibility for housing in the City is expected to come under pressure at the Council meeting later this week.

She will have to explain why it looks like the total number of affordable homes provided will be the lowest for at least 6 years.

At the same time the waiting list for homes has reached an all time high.

Planning permissions granted for home construction fell to only 198 in 2011. The Council have declined to forecast what the outturn for the current financial year will be.

Some commentators are forecasting that the number of (unimplemented) planning permissions will fall to an all time record low this year.

As at September 2011 the figure stood at 3120.

Tomorrow we’ll look at which of these permissions are on stalled developments and why.

New planning application in Westfield Ward

Only one local planning application was received by the Council last week in the Westfield Ward. Full details can be found by clicking the reference below or by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site.

Representations can be made in favour or in opposition to any application via the above web site.

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

Ref No: 13/00519/FUL Location: 34 Huntsmans Walk York YO24 3LE Proposal: Single storey extension to side and hardstanding to front Applicant: Mr Stephen Mountain Contact M T S Architectural Services Consultation Expiry Date 8 April 2013 Case Officer: Heather Fairy (Mon – Wed) Expected Decision DEL

New planning application in Westfield Ward

Only one local planning application was received by the Council last week. Full details can be found by clicking the reference below or by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Representations can be made in favour of or in opposition to any application via the Planning on line web site.

Ref No: 13/00337/FUL Location: 56 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS Proposal: Conversion of ground floor from retail (use Class A1) to residential flat (use Class C3) Applicant: Mr Graham Plunton Contact Mr J Funnell Consultation Expiry Date 1 April 2013 Case Officer: Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision DEL http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage

Labour cut waste collection, road maintenance, community centres, libraries, elderly persons homes, ice clearance, job training and Social Services.

Cuts to street level services click to enlarge

Cuts to street level services click to enlarge

Labour’s hopelessly misjudged Council budget proposals are set to be approved tonight. Cuts to all front line public services are planned yet

Labour also intend to retain a £1 million a year “slush fund” which is used to pay for a range of inessential “vanity” projects.

The £1 million this year has been used to pay for lighting and firework displays, free WiFi access in the City centre, a plan to open the Bonding warehouse as a “digital media hub”, building design competitions, an “innovation catalyst” programme; not to mention the occasional foreign travel trip.

More waste is evident in the Councils capital programme where commitments to introducing an unnecessary Citywide 20 mph speed limit and the purchase of a barge for use as an arts centre have seen interest payments, on borrowed money, double since Labour took control of the Council.

Abandoning these “vanity” projects and making good use of the reduced running costs (down by £375,000) of its new HQ would allow the Council to restore many of the most damaging cuts.

Labour’s key proposals would see:

A 1.9% hike in Council tax levels (despite central government offering to underwrite the costs of a freeze)

• Privatisation or outsourcing of leisure/swimming pool management the Warden Call service and the “Sheltered housing with extra care” service. Even the Mansion House will be commercialised

Grants to Museums Trust cut by £100,000, the Theatre Royal by £101,000 with similar % cuts other voluntary sector bodies

• At a time when people are rightly worried following revelations about meat quality, trading standards faces a £42,000 cut, while there will be less air quality monitoring.

• There will be less for job training as Future Prospects loses £150,000

• The closure of elderly persons homes will be brought forward meaning that some residents face double moves before new accommodation is completed. In 2014 pensioners will face a 90p charge when using their passes on Park and Ride services

Disabled facilities at Greenworks and Brunswick Nursery cut by £50,000 Supported employment budget cut by £200,000 forcing disabled people into “mainstream employment”

Social Service clients with personal budgets will lose out from a £500,000 budget cut

Looked after children – basically those with foster parents – face a £700,000 cut with another £400,000 to come off in 2014.

Respite services get a £50,000 reduction.

Children’s centres face a £128,000 cut in 2014

• The toy library bus will scrapped in 2014

Some reductions in expenditure were inevitable.

Labour have simply chosen to economise on the wrong services.

Meanwhile there are some concerns about the likely quality of tonights Council debate

New Monks Cross plans on display on Saturday

Last year Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd submitted plans for a new Community Stadium and enabling retail development at Monks Cross.

Since the planning application was submitted, they’ve made a few changes to the proposals. The most prominent of these is the removal of the development site to the south of the spine road and the addition of all-weather pitches for community use, which was something that was raised by the Council.

Other amendments include increasing the areas of landscaping and reducing the car parking numbers on site to 1,340.

An exhibition of the revised proposals is taking place at the De Grey Rooms, next to the Theatre Royal in St Leonard’s Place, York City Centre on Saturday 3rd March, between 10am and 5pm. Plans and images will be on display and members of the development team will be there to answer any questions.