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Our Lady’s replacement timetable

New school being built in Hamilton Drive


New school
The replacement for Our Lady’s school – being built on Hamilton Drive – is scheduled for completion by the middle of November. We understand the existing building on Windsor Garth will be demolished before the end of April 2012. The long term future of the site has yet to be determined but some housing is likely to be provided there.

Consultation – the good and the bad

The Council have extended the deadline for comments on its plans to replace elderly persons homes in the City to 26th September. A questionnaire can be completed “on line” at http://www.york.gov.uk/consultation
Comments on the City’s plans for conservation if the historic core have to be in by 5th September (same web site).

Separately the Council claims that it is consulting on the future arrangements for access to Council services in Acomb. This is “Council-speak” aimed at covering up their plan to close the Acomb branch office on York Road/Carr Lane. However you won’t find any survey on the Councils web site. Face to face interviews with residents are apparently taking place and “focus” groups are being set up. The consultation ends on 12th September. Needless say it is unclear how local residents can participate in this highly selective “consultation”.
So that every resident can have an opportunity to express their views, we have added a survey question to this web site (see right) and have included it in editions of our Focus newsletter which are currently being distributed.

Acomb branch office

Holgate Land grab

click to enlarge


The Council has agreed to spend £1.5 million buying two parcels of land on Poppleton Road. The Council claims that it is in a better position to develop the land than the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) – a government body which would have automatically taken over the ownership of the land, from the defunct Yorkshire Forward organisation, on 19th September.
The Council’s leadership argues that they are in a better position to ensure that the land is developed than the HCA although the debt charges of around £150,000 a year will now fall on York Council taxpayers.
The 1.8 Ha site (A on the plan) is required as a potential access point for a new link into the York Central development on which hopes rest for the provision of additional office jobs and homes over the next decade.
The land has had a chequered history with several changes in ownership prior to Yorkshire Forward (another central government body) adding them to its land bank about 10 years ago. At one point the adjacent CPP company had wanted to expand its operations onto the site.
On site B, the former railway canteen had been slated to be a community centre about a decade ago but that was a project that never got off the ground and the building now appears likely to be demolished.
Whether a Local Authority will be better able to drive forward the York Central project than a central government agency remains to be seen.
But it is a gamble and it is likely to be 5 years before it is clear whether it is one that has been justified. Some evidence in the report considered by Councillors, that discussion with the HCA had taken place, might have provided some reassurance that all options had been considered.

The way we were – Acomb Green early part of the last century

Acomb Green


Acomb Green was originally known as Yarcomb Sand’oil. the last syllable indicates “hole” and it is said that this the site of sand extraction for sale in the streets in York. On the right is the Primate Methodist Chapel, sometimes known as Benson’s Chapel. It was taken over by the Friends in 1911. There is also a square building known as the “barracks” because of its appearance. This has been demolished and replaced by modern building

The way we were -an occasional look at the history of Westfield and Acomb

Foxwood Lane 1972


These are the old kennels of the York and Ainsty Hunt. In 1907 Sir Edward Lycett Green (Master 1886-1909) divided up the country which had been secured by the Hunt from Bramham Moor and other, old-established, neighbours. The land was considered to be awkward as a whole. Between 1907 and 1909 all the doghounds were kept in the Ainsty country and the bitches were kennelled in the north by the new joint-Master. In 1909 all the hounds were once more brought together at the Ainsty. In 1929 the country was divided permanently as the Masters found it hard to meet regularly in the whole country

Furniture design and restoration

Starts Mon 19 Sept, 7pm to 9pm over 10 weeks
York High School, Cornlands Road, Acomb
(This course is administered by West York Adult Education Centre. Tel: 01904 555530)
Learn woodworking skills to help you to repair, strengthen and make the frameworks you require before moving on to applying appropriate finishes, stains and polishes. Or bring a piece of antique or later furniture and learn how to strip, clean and repair it, or make the missing parts to bring it back to its former glory.
Costs:- £85/ £65/ £20 www.yortime.org.uk

Local Development Plan (LDF) indecision

The Councils LDF working group meeting, scheduled for 5th September, has now been cancelled.
It means that no progress has been made on key issues affecting the City’s future including the timetable for the development (or not) of the former British Sugar site off Boroughbridge Road, not to mention the – now time critical – City Centre Action Plan.
The new Council seems to have no deadlines for dealing with Strategic Planning matters and could be leading the City into a period of stagnation.

Wetherby Road speeding concern

Wetherby Road


Speed survey results


Observations on a wet Friday afternoon suggest that a large proportion of drivers using Wetherby Road are triggering the Vehicle Activated Speed signs.
42% of drivers exiting the City triggered the 30 mph warning signs.
Few drivers seemed – in less than ideal conditions – to be speeding excessively. Many did bake after the warning sign illuminated – suggesting that the signs do affect the driving characteristics of many drivers.
Nevertheless the results may prompt the police to crack down on speeding on the road.