Activity at former care home on The Green in Acomb

76 The Green

76 The Green

The former “Knavesmire” care home was closed over 4 years ago and has been advertised for sale with GVA since then.

Recently the “for sale” sign has been removed and a “protected by occupation” notice has appeared.

Some external works are underway although no “change of use” proposal has as yet been submitted to the planning authority.

The site currently holds a Class C2 (Residential Institutions) planning consent.

Care home works The Green Acomb

76 The Green is a substantial (0.61 acres) 3 storey detached former Rectory, constructed in the 1880s and subsequently converted for use as a care home along with a 1980s single storey extensions to the side and rear.

Accommodation comprises 27 bedrooms.

Externally the property is bordered by mature trees with car parking to the front and garden/patio areas to the rear.

York Green Belt IS protected

As Labour become ever more desperate in their attempts to justify their “high growthLocal Plan, one mantra that keeps being repeated in that York “doesn’t have a Green Belt”.

In fact, York has had a (draft) Green belt for several decades. There are many planning decisions (important precedents) which revolved around development being refused because of its effect on the Green Belt.

The Green Belt received regional recognition – and protection – in the “Yorkshire and Humber Regional Spatial Strategy” (RSS) which was adopted in 2007.

Although the RSS was overtaken by the Localism Act (the present governments attempt to give more power to local communities), the York Green Belt boundaries were quite specifically recognised and protected when the new legislation was enacted.

Details can be found on this Government web site</a>

The government’s explanatory note reads,

Section 109 of the Localism Act 2011(1) abolished the regional planning tier by repealing Part 5 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009(2) (which only applied in relation to England). This includes the removal of the responsible regional authorities. Section 109 also made provision to revoke or partially revoke, by order, the eight existing regional strategies.

This Order makes use of those powers to partially revoke the regional strategy for Yorkshire and Humber, which comprises The Yorkshire and Humber Plan Regional Spatial Strategy to 2026 (“the RSS”) and the Regional Economic Strategy for Yorkshire & Humber 2006-2015. Policies in the RSS which relate to the Green Belt around the City of York are retained. The Key Diagram from the RSS is retained insofar as it illustrates the retained York Green Belt policies and the general extent of the Green Belt around the City of York. The Key Diagram can be found after page 214 of the RSS. A copy can be obtained from the Planning Directorate, Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU

So unless and until it is changed the Green Belt around York remains protected.

Existing York Green Belt boundaries. click to enlarge

Existing York Green Belt boundaries. click to enlarge

The protected (draft) Green Belt boundaries are the same as those that Labour Councillors (and others) voted in favour of in the summer of 2011 (see map left)..

The word “draft” only disappears from the description of the York Green Belt when a Public Inquiry has been held and a government Minister has approved a new Local Plan.

In 2012 Labour withdrew the proposed Local Plan from the Public inquiry after doubts were raised about the credibility of the policies contained in it regarding out of City centre shopping facilities (post the Monks Cross planning decision).

The existing Green Belt boundaries continue to be protected.

Labour should stop trying to frighten residents into thinking otherwise.

York Council to opt out of planning freedoms. Blow to new homes hopes.

empty shops

The Council has revealed that it intends to opt out of changes to planning laws which would have allowed building owners to change use from commercial to residential without the expense involved in submitting a planning application.

The move is likely to be a blow to those hoping to bring empty commercial properties back into use.

The Council say that demand for city centre business premises is buoyant in York.

Their case can be read here

The number of people on the council housing waiting list in York is now 4720

York residents asked to monitor wildlife in their garden. Newts blamed for inconvenience.

A new report has been published this month which looks into “what we all can do to ensure that York’s habitat and wildlife, including endangered species, are protected from extinction”.

Newts at Monks Cross

The York Council says, “Residents can help by completing fact sheets about wildlife activity in their gardens at– in the ‘download documents panel’.

You’ll be hard pressed thought to find a form see here Clearly, after recent events, spotting Great Crested Newts these days earns rather fewer ISpy points than might have been the case a couple of decades ago.


Local Plan consultation flop – leaflets not delivered in Chapelfields… at least!

Local Plan consultation leaflet

Reports are coming in the that the “Local Plan” consultation leaflet hasn’t yet been delivered in parts of York.

Several Chapelfields residents apparently only found out about the plans – which include a controversial proposal to build a Showman’s Yard on nearby Wetherby Road – when the Residents Association delivered a public meeting invitation last week.

It is unclear whether any other areas have also been excluded from the delivery which was made with a “Local Link” magazine in early June.

More details of the Council’s plans can be found on their web site and a public exhibition is taking place at Acomb Library tomorrow (Thursday) between 2:30pm and 7:00pm

Save the Green Belt – Residents demand local public meeting

• Petition signatures top 1200

• Chapelfields residents meeting tomorrow Wednesday at Sanderson House, 7:00pm

• “Drop in” session at Acomb Library on Thursday (2:30pm to 7:00pm)

Pressure is growing on Labour Councillors to attend a public meeting and defend their plan to increase the City’s population by 40,000 (25%).

The call came after Labour delivered a highly misleading leaflet/survey form to some residents over the weekend in which they implied that the 22,000 new homes were required for people already living in the City.

The survey asks only 3 questions.

1. How important is it to build new homes? All parties agree that there is a need for an increase in the number of homes in the City. It would require around 400 additional homes just to cater for local needs (new families forming while increasing life expectancy means existing homes remain occupied). The issue is how many homes are needed, where and when? (Labour plan 1090 homes per year, mostly on land which is currently in the Green Belt).

2. They ask how important the Greenfield setting of the City is (The Green Belt issue)? Most will say that it is important. Many respondents will think that they are endorsing the existing Green Belt boundaries (these are protected by regional policies and will continue to be unless, and until, the Council gets revised boundaries approved at a Public Inquiry)

3. Having softened people up, Labour then ask whether residents support their Local Plan proposals? The overwhelming evidence so far is that most residents do not support increasing the size of the City by 25%. Many are horrified at those parts of the Plan which would lead to the destruction of its Greenfield setting. Some will also be sceptical about the assumptions made about economic growth. 1000 additional jobs per year is a figure that is unlikely to be achieved consistently over a long period, while lack of an affordable transport and public service improvement policy, may be the final nail in the coffin of the high growth option favoured by Labour.

In reality the Councils own papers admit that the majority of occupants of the new homes will be economic migrants from other countries. Around 700 (2/3) of the new homes would be occupied by migrants each year.

Page 14 of the ARUP report says, “Population growth in York between 2010 and 2030 is ultimately driven by the scale of international migration into the authority

That is not to say that immigration is a bad thing in principle. Migrants sometimes take on jobs that local residents, for one reason or another, shun. New blood can with bring with it innovation, motivation and fresh thinking.

But it is the unprecedented scale, and timescale, of the population change that threatens York’s unique character.

It is not surprising then that residents are demanding that a public meeting takes place at which Labour Councillors can be challenged on some of their more obviously bogus claims.

In the meantime, residents are reminded of the importance of registering individual objections to the published proposals. This can be done by emailing (website –

Comments can be made – and larger scale maps viewed – at the Acomb Explore Library on Front Street this Thursday 20th June between 2:30pm and 7:00pm. We understand that some “pro Green Belt” residents will be lobbying this “drop in” session.

Please let us know if you require additional petition forms and copies of ehe window poster (below)

Green Belt campaign logo

Road works in York – “where they are” web site launched

York road works map

York road works map

A new web site has been launched which claims to list all current road works taking place in York (and,indeed,the UK).

It includes all statutory undertakings (telephones, water, power etc), not just the Council.

How accurate it will prove to be remains to be seen, but you can check it out at the following web site

Beckfield Lane recycling centre redevelopment plans lodged – last weeks planning application list including links

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

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

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

Acomb Ward

Location: Former Civic Amenity Site Beckfield Lane York Ref No: 13/01833/FULM Proposal: Erection of 19no. dwellinghouses and 9no. apartments with associated works following demolition of existing buildings Applicant: City Of York Council Contact: Mr Jordan Gill Consultation Expiry Date: 17 July 2013Case Officer: Victoria Bell Expected Decision Level: COMM

NB A large number of objections to this plan are expected. In the main the grounds of objection are likely to be that the Council has failed to provide an adequate alternative method which allows residents to dispose of bulky items in an environmentally friendly, and convenient, way

Location: Acomb Chiropractic Clinic 60A York Road Acomb York YO24 4NW Ref No: 13/01891/TCA Proposal: Crown lift to 5m,crown thin by 20% and reduce from roof line to give 2m clearance, Copper Beech (T1), Tree in the Conservation Area Applicant: Mr Brack Contact: Mr Tom Kitchen Consultation Expiry Date: 8 July 2013 Case Officer: Esther Priestley Expected Decision Level: DEL

Westfield Ward

Location: 297 Chapelfields Road York YO26 5AE Ref No: 13/00924/FUL Proposal: Dormer window to rear Applicant: Mrs Amanda Morris Consultation Expiry Date 8 July 2013 Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL

Location: 53 Chapelfields Road York YO26 5AA Ref No: 13/01269/FUL Proposal: Two storey side extension, single storey front and rear extensions and dormer to rear Applicant: Mr And Mrs Strickland Contact Ms Kate MacNeill Consultation Expiry Date 8 July 2013 Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL

Chapelfields residents to have say on “Showman’s Yard” plan at public meeting on Wednesday

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Chapelfields residents have been invited to attend a public meeting on Wednesday at which they will be invited to give their reaction to plans, by the Labour controlled York Council, to establish a “Showmans Yard” on nearby land off Wetherby Road.

The meeting starts at 7:00pm and will take place at Sanderson Community House on Bramham Road

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.