That was the week that was in pictures

Some streets cleaner

Good to see that progress has been made in clearing moss and detritus from the Grange Lane – Chapelfields Road snicket. Nearby hydrants sign – damaged 2 years ago – has still not been repaired

and the lane to the rear of the Front Street/ Beaconsfield Street is tidier than it has been for some time

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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1A Woodford Place York YO24 4QR

Change of use from dwellinghouse to flexible use dwellinghouse and house in multiple occupation (use classes C3 and C4)

Ref. No: 21/00649/FUL 

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71 Tennent Road York YO24 3HQ

Single storey rear extension, 1no. window opening to first floor rear

Ref. No: 21/00630/FUL 

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20 Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Single storey rear extension

Ref. No: 21/00615/FUL 

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received

Join the conversation about Acomb Front Street’s future

Businesses, residents and visitors are being asked what they love and what they’d like to change about Acomb’s Front Street.

The consultation is the much delayed opportunity to help with the regeneration of the Front Street area.

Fruit stall

The council committed to a £50,000 investment in Front Street, one of the city’s most important shopping areas, before the pandemic brought about even larger challenges to high streets across the UK.

Acomb’s Front Street plays a vital role in the community and the wider city, and is home to many established and well-loved local independent retailers and community spaces. It has a lower than national average proportion of empty units, with occupancy rates bucking the UK trend by increasing significantly in the last three years.

The council is now asking for views which will help to keep Front Street at the heart Acomb’s economy and community.

The Council says that last year “we postponed the survey because of Covid-19. Your views in the survey will be used to create a ‘brief’ of community ideas which we can check with local people before the council executive decides what improvements to make”.

500 residents have already had a new COVID-secure knock on their door from IdB, a market research company working with the council.  The council is working alongside IdB to ask for feedback and ideas from a diverse and representative cross section of Acomb residents. The surveys will be dropped with residents in a sterile bag, along with gloves, an antiviral wipe and a return bag. The market researcher will then return later that day to collect the questionnaire.

Residents can also get involved by:

Acomb Moor footpath problems continue

Its over 4 months since Councillors told residents that a blocked Public Right of Way (PROW) would be reopened . The access to Acomb Moor from Foxwood Lane had been via a stile for over 20 years.

It gradually fell into disrepair and the Council declined to stabilise it.

An application to define the route as a PROW was submitted in late 2018 and supported by the Council some 12 months later.

Shortly afterwards the tenant farmer blocked the access with a large tree trunk. He went on to plant crops in the field (for the first time in over 25 years).

Local residents agreed to use a footpath route which skirted around the outside of the field and this has become a well established exercise route during the lockdown period.

Unfortunately an assurance from local Councillors – that the tree trunk would be moved to allow for single file pedestrian access – was not fulfilled. As a result an new access point has now been forced near the Askham Lane junction.

Of more concern, many walkers are now trying to climb a 5 bar metal gate. A potentially hazardous activity for the elderly and infirm.

There are other points on the route which have also fallen into a, potentially hazardous, state of disrepair.

There are easy and relatively cheap solutions to this problem. The Lockdown period has simply reinforced the importance of informal walking routes near the City.

The Council should act now to make these footpaths accessible and safe.

Way open for Acomb Library expansion

The development to the rear of the Acomb Library (Bowling Lane) is almost complete with most of the homes now occupied.

The Council owned site, currently being used as a builders yard, will shortly close opening the way for a start to be made on the long awaited upgrade to the Acomb Library.

The Council has a budget of £2 million allocated in each of the next two years (starting on 1/4/21) to provide “Centres of Learning and Opportunity for all” at Acomb & Clifton libraries.

Plans to provide a “one stop shop” for public services at Acomb Explore date back over a decade and the land to the rear of South View Terrace was purchased by the Council (from a local builder) with the intention of improving the whole area.

Sadly, that intention stalled, and the land became overgrown.  It was a major missed regeneration opportunity.

The “Lockdown” period has provided Council officials with adequate time to refined their proposals for the site and we expect to see public consultation starting shortly.

We do not want building activity in the area to continue for longer than is essential, so some drive and enthusiasm is now required.

The publication of a draft development timetable would be a good start.

Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

Below is 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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68 Tudor Road York YO24 3AZ

Proposal      Part conversion of garage to habitable room and installation of access ramp to front elevation

Reference   21/00584/FUL

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received

Litter shame on A64

The pile of litter continue to grow next to a layby near Tadcaster. Problems on the A64 were reported several weeks ago but without any lasting improvement.

Deliberate fly tipping has now added to the woes.

Its a real shame that people don’t take their litter home with them and that enforcement action is rarely effective.

It is a shame as this is the first sight that some visitors will get as they approach York.

Elsewhere we have re-reported two fly tipping and leaf detritus issues in the little Green Lane area.

Graffiti on utility boxes in Windsor Garth has been reported.

Reports are coming in that 8 trees, planted by volunteers in Dickson Park during the summer, have been vandalised. The incident is being investigated by the local residents association.

Good news and the bad news

Good to see that the Post Box on Beagle Ridge Drive has finally been reinstated. It was first sealed off over 6 months ago

Meanwhile, across the street, the long term empty Council bungalow – which the Council has been unable to re-let – is regularly being vandalised. Several other properties have also been targeted.

We are beginning to lose confidence in the York Councils housing management officials.

The Council has been without a permanent head for its Council housing team for nearly a year now. Estate management vacancies are not being filled despite the housing accounts showing a substantial surplus.

York deserves better

Meanwhile the next Councils meeting agenda has been published. Anyone hoping for evidence that Councillors are addressing the major decline in public service standards will be disappointed.

With NHS staff being undervalued, unemployment rates rising, highway network maintenance standards at a new low, street level crime on the rise and housing in a management vacuum, you might have expected at least the official Labour opposition to highlight the issues. In fact you could reasonably expect most back bench Councillors of all parties to start to seriously question what is going wrong.

But no. Labour use an agenda motion to agonise about transgender recognition. They want to instruct schools to use trans childrens “preferred name pronoun”.

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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12 Beechwood Glade York YO24 3JT

Crown reduce Oak tree by 15 – 20% protected by Tree Preservation Order no. CYC 132 

Ref. No: 21/00506/TPO 

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Telecommunications Mast Adjacent 11 Front Street York

Installation of 20m Orion street pole supporting 6no. antennas, 3no. remote radio units and 2no. 300mm dishes together with new equipment cabinet and associated ancillary development following removal of the existing 12.5m Elara street works pole 

Ref. No: 21/00470/FUL 

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB. The Council does not routinely consult neighbours by letter when an application is received