Anger as Clarke Telecoms refuse to reconsider 5G mast blight

Planning application for 19 metre high Bellhouse Way 5G mast submitted

Despite a hostile response from local residents and Councillors to the informal soundings taken about their huge telecoms mast plan for a site near the Community Centre, Clarke Telecom have now submitted a formal planning application. Click here

Height comparisons and site plan

 Ironically, it comes on the day that the government announced that the mast user, the Chinese company Huawei, would be barred from involvement with the 5G roll out in the UK. Sources say this will put back the 5G timetable by between 2 and 3 years.

A 19 metre high mast in the middle of a residential area (twice the size of the existing mast) would tower over nearby trees, buildings and even lampposts. The ugly equipment antenna  would not be shrouded.

The new equipment cabinets would further obstruct the footpath outside the community centre and would exacerbate problems with anti-social behaviour and trespass.

By far the best option would be for any mast to be located on the Thanet Road Sports area. A site off Foxwood Lane could be found which would have less impact on either peoples homes or leisure buildings.  Existing masts on Thanet Road and Bellhouse Way could then be rationalised to one location which would avoid existing problems with sight lines being blocked for vehicle drivers.

Should this not be possible, then an alternative location, on the opposite side of the road from the Community Centre, would be preferable. This site takes the form of an inset which is currently occupied by cycle hoops (which could be moved into the park).

Suggested alternative location if the mast has to be on Bellhouse Way

Clarke Telecom representatives have offered a series of largely bogus reasons why this site could not be used. An area equivalent to the requirement for the cabinets and pole base has been marked out by the Residents Association. This demonstrates that the proposal could be accommodated with minimal intrusion into the park. If necessary, the railings could be realigned. Any affected trees could be replaced elsewhere in the park.

It is even more important these days that public footpaths be kept clear of clutter as we need to allow plenty of space for “social distancing”. This would mean removing the grass verge if the Community Centre site were approved.

Problems have occurred over the years with youths and criminals climbing onto the cabinets to gain entry to the adjacent car park, centre, and private houses beyond.

Any new mast which may be deemed as essential should be placed next the park where the natural vegetation would help to screen the unsightly utility boxes.

The current proposal represents a visually unacceptable blight on a residential area and should be rejected by the York Council.

Residents wishing to object to the proposal can do so either “on line” through the planning web site https://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/ or by Email to planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting reference 20/01183/TCMAS

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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2 Grange Lane York YO26 5DR

Erection of detached garden building to rear

Ref. No: 20/01143/FUL

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124 Wetherby Road Acomb York YO26 5BY

Erection of single storey extension extending 4.40 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.80 metres and a total height of 3.80 metres

Ref. No: 20/00943/LHE 

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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 now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

That was the week that was in west York in pictures

Several suburban shopping streets need a tidy up. We asked for bins at Foxwood to be emptied but the Council now needs to provide more support for businesses that “soldiered on” during lock-down providing lifeline services for some.
Still too much graffiti on utility boxes in the area. Two more reported in the Dijon Avenue area this week
Rain and wind have brought detritus down blocking some drainage channels. We’ve asked for those in Kingsthorpe to be swept.
The footpath at the high numbered end of Tudor Road has been levelled. It had been damaged by tree roots. We expect that the problem will reoccur
However the nearby footpath on Tudor Road is still blocked by overrunning Yorkshire Water works

A major problem across the whole of the City are rapidly growing weeds. The Councils contractors have been seen out spraying but they will have been hampered by wet weather.

As a result many back lanes, footpaths, snickets and cycle paths are now obstructed.

This can be a hazard particularly for the partially sighted.

Hopefully residents, who see an issue near their home or business, will deal with it themselves.

Weed growth and other issues can be reported 24/7 via the Council web site ” click “Report it”

Lowfields development complaints increase as Council confirms that Yorspace have failed to purchase land allocated for them.

Completion delays forecast

Yorspace plans 2017

The York Council has confirmed that the Yorspace communal housing project has failed to purchase the development plot allocated for them nearly 3 years ago.

Although the 19 home site wasn’t as controversial as some other parts of the development, neighbours had been assured that a prompt start would be made on site. This was considered to be  essential if a maximum 3 year site build was to be achieved as promised by the Council  It is understood that the area which is allocated as a play area, will first be used as a building compound for the Yorspace development.

The Yorspace development became controversial when it was revealed in January 2019 that no conditions had been attached to the sale which required occupiers to be in housing need, have low incomes or, indeed, even be York residents. There was some scepticism about the sale price of £300,000 as a similar nearby plot had been sold for 50% more than that figure.

A Council official, at a private meeting held in August 2017, had agreed an “exclusivity agreement” to sell the land to what was then styled as a  “Mutual Home Ownership Society”

Planning permission was granted in March 2019 despite concerns about lack of parking provision and the absence of “affordable housing”. Yorspace was forced last year to extend its funding appeal deadline for investors, although it later announced that it had reached its income target. This should have allowed funds to be transferred to the Council but a Freedom of Information response has today confirmed that this did not happen.

With other elements of the development also now in delay – there is no sign of the “self build” homes, elderly persons sheltered housing or community buildings being started – the development timetable is likely to stetch to 5 years or more.

This is bad news for some neighbours who have complained bitterly on the Save Lowfields Playing Field Facebook page about noise, dust and the disruption and damage being caused by plant & supplies accessing the site. Residents claim to have complained to the Council and the local MP without a response.

Verges and roads in Dijon Avenue have been damaged.

The adjacent “self build” plots are also stalled. A year ago the Council agreed to market the plots through “Custom Build Homes”. Buyers were supposed to start construction “within 12 months” and have completed all works “within 2 years”.

The Council needs to get a grip on what is happening at Lowfields. Work is continuing on constructing the speculative housing development although whether the Chancellor’s recent decision on reduced stamp duty will prompt a queue of buyers remains to be seen.

The Council must put a clear deadline by which work on the other sections of the site must be completed. Residents don’t want o spend half their lives living on, or adjacent to, a building site.

If Yorspace or others can’t complete then the parcels of land should be sold to those who are able to get on and provide additional housing quickly.

Front Street -pressure for investment grows

Some residents have reacted to yesterdays article by saying investment is urgently needed to regenerate the Front Street shopping area. Although the number of empty units is currently relatively low, there are concerns that sub-urban shopping areas may be hard hit during any recession.

Barrier prevents vehicular access during pedestrian hours

Fortunately many Acomb businesses built up a new customer base during the period of lockdown.

Most though failed to benefit for the Councils marketing campaign.

Even today, the only indications of Council support are two small “social distancing” signs.

The rest of the precinct looks neglected with weeds gaining a foothold in many areas.

Weeds growing though footpath surfaces in Front Street

We have asked for action to clean up the existing disabled parking bays. However, what is really needed is a more general a “deep clean” Banners, flowers and display lights could also lift the area. A major marketing campaign could emphasis the value and variety offered by many of the indie outlets in the village.

Something more fundament may be needed. The option to reopen the pedestrianised carriageway to blue badge holders on some days of the week, has received some support. There are three parking laybys in the area which together could accommodate 8 or 9 cars. That could provide a worthwhile increase in footfall.

We’ve asked for the gutters to be cleared of weeds and detritus

The lay-bys could, at other times, provide space for pop up stalls. Some mobile shops might also want to visit the area to add to the variety which si available.

Front Street was at its best, and most popular, when hosting the Minster FM roadshow at Christmas. Although it is too soon to plan for the return of  large crowds, more modest arts and entertainments activities could be staged.

It will require investment by a Council which seems, at the moment, to be entirely preoccupied with the City centre (where, in fairness, traders also faces major hurdles,)

Front Street lay-bys could be used to increase footfall in te area

As a sign of good faith, the York Council could fund a precinct concierge who – as well as regulating access and providing blue badge holders with help with carrying shopping – might also help to keep the area tidy.

In the longer term, a more radical solution could see the pedestrian area extended although this would have far reaching implications not least on some residents and the bus service.

However, the Council does need to explore all options as part of, what it terms as, its “big conversation” with residents.

There should be no delay.

Appeal following theft at Lidl Thanet Road store

Police have issued CCTV of a man they would like to speak to following a theft in Acomb, York.

The incident happened at Lidl, Thanet Road on 25 May 2020.

Officers are asking members of the public to get in touch if they recognise the person in the images as it is believed they could  have information which will help the investigation.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for PC209 Lewis or email Kira.Lewis@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote reference number 12200087032 when passing on information.

Contact details:Kira Lewis – #0209 Kira.Lewis@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk | 101 Incident reference:12200087032

That was the week that was in west York in photos

Bachelor Hill looking very smart including the wildflwoer meadow.
We’ve reported the damaged fence at the Cornlands park play area. The play area is due to officially reopen later this week following the health lock-down.. The fencing was provided to prevent fouling by dogs.
Another shopping trolley has made a break for freedom. This one on Tennent Road
We are still waiting for the goal posts on the Westfield park to be repainted. Been outstanding for three years now. Pitch also needs remarking before the new season starts.
Lots of weed growth as a result of the weather this week. Particular problems in Chapelfields and on Askham Lane.
Weeds overgrowing the bus shelter on Foxwood Lane again. The Council owned shelter is now looking very shabby now.
Damaged utility marker sign on Grange Lane is still lying on the verge despite being reported in January.
More snickets now obstructed by overhanging trees.

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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11 Barkston Avenue York YO26 5DH

Two storey side and single storey rear extension following demolition of side projection

Ref. No: 20/01039/FUL 

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H2o Bathrooms And Kitchens Ltd 51 York Road Acomb York YO24 4LN

Conversion of upper floors (use class A1) to form 3no. one bedroom flats with rooflights, dormer extension and alterations to fenestration

Ref. No: 20/01038/FUL 

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49 Ridgeway York YO26 5DA

Single storey front, side and rear extension

Ref. No: 20/00938/FUL 

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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 now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

 Below are 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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11 Croftway York YO26 5LU

First floor side extension and single storey rear extension

Reference   20/00956/FUL

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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 now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received