Now it begins – Westview Close decision set to erode York Green Belt

The first successful appeal against a refusal of planning permission in the York Green Belt will see 8 additional homes built in Westview Close in Acomb.

Westview Close

The application, from Hogg builders, was originally rejected by the York Council.

Subsequently the Council published its, now infamous, draft Local Plan in April which sought to build on land previously recognised as being part of the Green Belt.

Now an Inspector has used that as an excuse to allow the Westview Close development to go ahead.

Click here to see the full decision.

Labour also want to build on the adjacent land – the former Civil Service Sports Ground.

The ruling bodes ill for the future of the City.

List of planning applications received between 12th -16th August 2013 Acomb and Westfield Wards

Acomb

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council for the Acomb and Westfield wards. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Ref No: 13/02665/FUL

Location: 1A Danebury Crescent York YO26 5EH

Proposal: Erection of 2no. detached dwellings to rear

Applicant: Mr Jeff Gilbert Contact: Mr Brian Scott Consultation Expiry Date: 9 September 2013 Case Officer: Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision Level: DEL

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 housing numbers just don’t stack up

The announcement that 648 “student rooms” are to be provided on The Press office site have raised questions about discrepancies between figures included in the draft Local Plan and subsequent planning applications.

The Press site wasn’t even identified for residential use in the Local Plan.

Within 3 weeks of the plan being published, an announcement was being made that “58 purpose built student flats and 303 studio apartments would be built on the site” (Press 12th June)

Press cutting 12th June 2013

Now the actual planning application to be considered next week is for 648 student rooms”.

It’s the latest in a long line of inconsistencies with site densities in actual planning applications being double the Local Plan figure.

It also seems that the Councils “affordable homes” strategy is collapsing. A government inspector ruled that 0% affordable homes were required on the Grain Store site.

The Council had already reduced the number of affordable units required at the Terry’s development and a similar reduction was made at the Hungate and the Barbican.

We now understand that the planning application for the Sessions site has been withdrawn amid speculation that this also will now have less than 10% affordable units.

It looks like the Labour plan, to flood the market with cheap land in the hope that prices would reduce, has collapsed before it has even reached the Public Inquiry stage.

Big retail and housing plans go to York committee next week

Press building, Walmgate

The plan to demolish the existing building occupied by The Press reaches the Planning Committee next week (22nd).

Monks Cross

Monks Cross

The plan would see the erection of 1 three storey and 1 four to seven storey block and the conversion of Wards Warehouse to provide student accommodation (648 student rooms and management facilities); the erection of a 3 storey office (class B1), an extension to the Poads Building and the provision of associated cycle and car parking facilities and landscaping works.

The details can be read by clicking here

The application is recommended for approval.

Monks Cross

The extensions to the existing Monks Cross development are described as “external alterations to amalgamate five existing units (nos 3, 4, 5/6, 11 and 12) and create additional mezzanine floorspace to create two non food retail units” Details can be found by clicking here.

The applicant says that one of the new units would be occupied by Primark. The second unit would be occupied by Debenhams

The application is recommended for approval

Further fall in Jobseekers claimant count

US-unemployment-jobs-fair-007

The number of people claiming Jobs Seekers Allowance (JSA) in York has again fallen, representing the largest decrease in the claimant count in seven years between June and July.

The Office for National Statistics have released figures today stating that there are 2490 claimants in York, a decrease of 61 from last month and of 758 from July 2012. The claimant count represents 1.9% of the working population and contrasts to the regional average which stands at 4.4%. The figures are also much lower than the national average which stands at 3.5%.

Generally full employment is achieved when unemployment levels fall below 2%. This recognises the number of people who at any time are “between jobs”.

Even allowing for workers who are currently economically inactive (but not claiming JSA), it raises further questions about Labours Local Plan which aims to increase the number of job by 1000 a year (net).

The Local Plan hyper economic growth targets have been criticised as likely to lead to large scale inward migration into the City or unsustainable commuting levels.

Cost of Local Plan consultants report put at £9000

The York Council has said that the total cost of the work undertaken by Arup consultants to support the Local Plan Preferred options – Housing Requirements in York: Assessment of the Evidence on Housing

Requirements in York was £8,837 plus VAT

This is the report that the Council used in “Draft” form to justify its decision in April to seek land on which to build an additional 22,000 in York over the next 15 years.

Lib Dems back new campaign to ‘Save our Countryside’

Green Belt map of England

Green Belt map of England

York’s Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader says a new national campaign to protect the countryside supports the approach his party has taken to controversial housing plans.

Last week the Lib Dems submitted their objection to Labour run City of York Council’s Draft Local Plan, which proposes building 16,000 houses on Green Belt land over the next 15 years. In recent months the Lib Dems have been leading the fight to protect York’s Green Belt, including organising a petition signed by nearly 2,500 local residents. The party has said that new housing should be focused on brownfield sites before the countryside surrounding York is developed.

Now a national ‘Save our Countryside’ charter launched by the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has highlighted the threat of developing Green Belt land and called on councils to develop brownfield sites first. The CPRE has said that current policies mean the countryside is “being destroyed unnecessarily” and a ‘brownfield first’ approach should be adopted.

(more…)

Gypsy and Traveller correspondence disclosed by York Council

Behind closed doors logo

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the York Council has now disclosed some of the correspondence that it has had with third parties before making a decision on the allocation of land for new Traveller sites.

The documents can be read by clicking the links below

Correspondence with other authorities

Population numbers

Numbers on waiting list

Unauthorised encampments

Support work

Latest Planning applications Acomb and Westfield

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council last week. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Acomb

Ref No: 13/00494/FUL
Location: 134A Boroughbridge Road York YO26 6AL
Proposal: Erection of 2no. semi-detached dwellings and associated car parking to rear of 134A Boroughbridge Road
Applicant: K Pallister Contact: Neil Conway Consultation Expiry Date: 26 August 2013 Case Officer: Erik Matthews Expected Decision Level: DEL

Ref No: 13/02600/FUL
Location: 30 Chestnut Grove York YO26 5LE
Proposal: Single storey side and rear extension and porch to front (resubmission)
Applicant: Mr And Mrs Pope Contact: Mr Howard Berry Consultation Expiry Date: 26 August 2013Case Officer: Heather Fairy (Mon – Wed) Expected Decision DEL

Westfield

Ref No: 13/02542/ADV
Location: Greggs 5 Odsal House Front Street York YO24 3BL
Proposal: Display of externally illuminated hanging sign
Applicant: Mrs Sara Humphries Consultation Expiry Date 26 August 2013 Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL

Ref No: 13/02550/FUL
Location: 59 Gladstone Street Acomb York YO24 4NQ
Proposal: Single storey rear extension
Applicant: Mr Paul Crosby
Contact Mr J Funnell Consultation Expiry Date 26 August 2013 Case Officer: Sharon Jackson Expected Decision Level DEL

Ref No: 13/02558/FUL
Location: 59 Thoresby Road York YO24 3EN
Proposal: Two storey side extension and porch to front
Applicant: Mr Lee Nicholas Contact Mr Kevin Bristowe Consultation Expiry Date 26 August 2013 Case Officer: Heather Fairy (Mon – Wed) Expected Decision DEL

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.

More brownfield sites for homes coming forward in York – Council Green Belt assumptions proved to be wrong

Brownfield sites for nearly 2000 additional homes have already been found since Labour launched its attack on the Green Belt in April.

Many alternatives to green field development were listed in the LibDem response to the Council’s Local Plan which was submitted last week.

Ashbank - will be converted into flats

Ashbank – will be converted into flats

Even more potential brownfield sites are now emerging with an application being considered on Thursday to provide 9 homes at the former Ashbank care home site on Shipton Road. The property is owned by the Council.

A further application will see 12 homes built on the site of the Yearsley Grove pub on Huntington Road

The same planning committee will consider a proposal to construct 37 new homes on the site of the Burnholme Club in Heworth. This was a site identified for housing in the Local Plan (Ref H17) but for only 19 homes.

Taken with other sites – like Our Lady’s – there seems to have been a systematic and cynical attempt by York Council leaders to deliberately underestimate the capacity of brownfield sites in the City.

In the latter two cases the actual planning proposals almost double the number of units allocated for the sites in the Local Plan.

No explanation has been forthcoming from the Council on these major anomalies.