Houses in Multiple Occupation -change proposed


The York Council’s Local Plan Working Group will be asked to note and approve the findings from a comprehensive review which highlights some of the challenges facing the shared housing sector in York

The Council has issued the following media release which outlines how they are likely to restricted the number of “shared” houses in particular areas.


Another “take away” planned for The Green, Acomb.

Latest Planning applications for Acomb and Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Acomb ward. There were no applications submitted for the Westfield Ward

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference
Location: 99 Almsford Road York YO26 5NU

Proposal: Two storey side extension

Ref No: 13/03679/FUL

Applicant: Mr And Mrs Howland Contact: Mr Paul Brown Consultation Expiry Date: 23 December 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level: DEL
Address 17 Melwood Grove York YO26 5RE

Condition 3 (materials)


Reference AOD/13/00591 Application Received Tue 26 Nov 2013
Address Pedpit Motor Stores Limited Unit 3 Greenside House The Green Acomb York YO26 5LL

Proposal Change of use from retail unit (use class A1) to takeaway (use class A5)

Reference 13/03520/FUL

Application Received Fri 01 Nov 2013
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.

Cleveland Street residents raise concerns about “bridge to nowhere”

click for large scale plan

click for large scale plan

The Council’s Cabinet is set to agree to buy a strip of land (marked C on the plan) between Wilton Rise/Cleveland Street and Chancery Rise when it meets on Tuesday.

The Council bought sites A and B in 2011.

The Chancery Rise link will be the location for the Councils £10 million access bridge into the York Central site.

The bridge will pass close to some houses on Cleveland Street and may affect the nearby playground.

There has been surprisingly little discussion with local residents about the plan which could have major noise and pollution implications.

No planning permission for the bridge is in place.

The Council is also looking to sell on site A to Network Rail.  The site will accommodate some rail functions relocated from the York central area.

The affected streets fall within the Holgate ward. They are represented by Cabinet members James Alexander and Sonja Crisp.


British Sugar plans now online – no mention of “large supermarket”

Plans, and “options”, for the redevelopment of the British Sugar site off Boroughbridge Road are now “on line” (click)

click to visit web site and complete survey

click to visit web site and complete survey

The web site claims that;

Redevelopment of the former industrial site can deliver around 1000 new high quality homes, new public open spaces and a community hub which could incorporate a new community hall, sports hall, nursery and primary school.

That is pretty much as expected.

The principle of residential development had enjoyed broad support across the Council.

The main concerns relate to transport issues and the nature, location and scale of any commercial and retail developments.

The consultation concentrates mainly on the location of open space and transport corridors.

It says absolutely nothing about the location and size of any “large supermarket” which Council leaders claimed a couple of weeks ago was an important feature of the scheme.

A small local store to meet the needs of the residents living on the development would be essential.

Another superstore would, however, raise all sorts of transport issues.

The most obvious community facilities (shops) don’t figure on the list of options for the “community hub” listed on the web site.

Nor is there any commercial development which could provide jobs within walking distance of people’s homes. Thus, an opportunity to establish a sustainable community, has been lost.

There are no traffic generation figures listed and the phasing of the development – and community facilities – is also very vague.

There is a final chance to see the plans at an exhibition which is taking place today Saturday 30 November at the former Manor School site, Low Poppleton Lane, York, YO26 6BB between 11am and 4pm.

Site tours will also be offered to those attending the event.

It’s a shame that the developers didn’t provide an “on line” Q & A section on their web site

A bridge too near?

The promised report on Labour plans for a new £10 million bridge near Wilton Rise has now been published.

It turns out that £1.5 million of this will be spent on consultant’s fees.

Housing numbers. click to enlarge

Housing numbers. click to enlarge

The report claims that the costs of the bridge would be repaid “from the additional income in Business Rates and Council Tax generated by the new developments” (on the York central site).

It then goes on to claim that 1083 new homes will be provided. That is a surprise because the draft Local Plan published by Labour in April assumed only 438 homes would be constructed on this site.

However, the housing numbers included in the Labour draft Local Plan have already been undermined with actual planning applications submitted, and approved, over the last 6 months being in every case higher than the Plan estimate
Therefore a much higher housing figure is a legitimate target for the York central site.

The present coalition government policy does encourage development and allows local authorities to retain and invest, for 6 years, additional Council Tax monies generated by new homes (New Homes Bonus).

Business Rates have also been “localised”. So an increase in income from additional commercial buildings would increase the amount that the Council receives from Business Rates. However government grants, which seek to equalise Council income between “prosperous” and less well off areas, could be reduced.

No business case of any sort has been provided for the meeting next week.

In addition to the homes, the “plan” talks about “building 93,000 sq m of office space with ancillary bar, restaurant, retail and leisure uses” in 2015.

A further 35,000 sq m would be built in 2019 in the form on a commercial area “in front of the station” and would include a new hotel although most would be more offices.

Of course, any incremental development in the City provides similar increases in Council income plus more jobs and homes.

Residents might have expected any income to be earmarked to pay for repairs to the public services in the City which have deteriorated so badly over the last 3 years.

Public consultation results - York central access options

Public consultation results – York central access options

Incredibly, the Council is being asked to earmark the £10 million without a development “Masterplan” being in place.

As a result no planning permission exists for the development.

The absence of a business plan is the major problem at present. It remains unclear how the site clean up will be funded (it is heavily polluted) nor is there any guarantee that other transport infrastructure needs can be financed.

From the information, that has been made available, it does seem that the Councils investment will not be underwritten in any way.

It is therefore a very high risk venture.

There is no proposal to form a joint development company which would allow Council Taxpayers to share in the success of any development (to offset the substantial risk)

The legal restrictions – which apply across Europe – on subsidising private companies are not explored in the paper.

Like the sale of the Haymarket car park on Hungate – for around 50% of its current open market value – the Council is being both naïve and reckless with taxpayers money. The promised offices and hotel on Hungate have yet to move forward and so have provided no economic stimulus for the City.

The “Bridge to Nowhere” could well be a similar embarrassment.

With the national economy improving, and some local developers reflecting the more buoyant approach in the City, less risky ways to kick start important developments like York Central should be considered.

Latest planning applications for Acomb and Westfield Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Acomb and Westfield wards.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Location: 34 Shirley Avenue York YO26 5NJ

Proposal: Single storey side extension

Ref No: 13/03271/FUL
Applicant: Mr & Mrs G Eastham Consultation Expiry Date: 16 December 2013 Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level: DEL
Colonnade Insurance Brokers Ltd 2A Carr Lane York YO26 5HU

Display of 1no. non-illuminated fascia sign

Ref. No: 13/03621/ADV
52 Princess Drive York YO26 5SY

Change of use from residential (use class C3) to house in multiple occupation (use class C4)

Ref. No: 13/03622/FUL

Address Tote Bookmakers 48 – 50 Beaconsfield Street York YO24 4ND

Proposal Non material amendment approved application 12/02558/FUL to install additional window to first floor side elevation

Reference 13/03619/NONMAT

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.

Windsor Garth development proposals put on hold

Our Lady's school site

Our Lady’s school site

The proposal to build 56 additional homes on the site of the former Our Lady’s school on Windsor Garth was tonight deferred for further consideration.

Concerns were expressed about the high density of the layout, the lack of play facilities or community space, the poor sustainability features of the homes plus the need to retain the existing metal security railings.

It is likely that a refined design will be submitted to a Planning Committee meeting next year.

Public exhibitions set to unveil plans for former British Sugar site

British Sugar site

British Sugar site

British Sugar is inviting local residents to attend public exhibitions to discuss proposals for the redevelopment of the former British Sugar industrial site off Boroughbridge Road in York.

The events will take place on Thursday 28 November and Saturday 30 November and will provide residents with the opportunity to review the draft Masterplan options for the site and discuss the proposals with the project team.

City of York Council has consulted for a number of years on the future development of the site and has identified it in its Draft Local Plan for a residential-led development, which will deliver much-needed family homes.

However the Council’s Leadership is understood to be pressing for a large supermarket to be included in the development which could cause huge traffic pressures in the area while robbing the beleaguered Acomb shopping centre of vital footfall.

The exhibitions will be held at the former Manor School site, Low Poppleton Lane, York, YO26 6BB between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday 28 November and between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 30 November.

Site tours will also be offered to those attending the Saturday event.

Further information is available by calling 08448 425285. Following the exhibitions information will be uploaded to the website

Rush to spend £10 million

In 2005 the Regional Development Agency (Yorkshire Forward) budgeted to spend nearly £10 million, of central government money, on infrastructure improvements which would allow the area of land behind the York railway station to be developed.

The site – dubbed York Central – was effectively landlocked with a bridge over the freight avoidance line required before development could start.

But it wasn’t the only issue.

Much of the site was contaminated while a viable transport system to service the development proved to be elusive.

Possible access routes into York Central

Possible access routes into York Central

The funding was never released.

The major landowner (Network Rail) found it impossible to come up with a development proposal which satisfied local planners and also recovered the huge development costs involved.

Then came the recession in 2008 and the scheme, like others across the country, went onto the back burner.

With the economy now improving it is not surprising that development sites like York Central, Nestle South and British Sugar are once again on the agenda.

What is astonishing is that the Council Leadership apparently intend to spend £10 million of Council Taxpayers money on building a bridge linking Holgate Road to the derelict site, and without securing a development agreement, timetable or the planning permissions necessary to ensure a comprehensive development.

Unless a legal agreement is signed to the effect that the costs of the bridge will be repaid from development profits, then the local taxpayer will be left with the bill.

The Council has already dramatically increased the amount of money that it borrows.

These additional debts have resulted in an extra annual repayment costs for taxpayers of £1 million.

The bridge to nowhere would add another £700,000 a year to that figure.

And that money could only come from either higher taxes or – more likely – further reductions in the quality of public services.