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British Sugar redevelopment site stalls

Former British Sugar site

It’s nearly 6 months since the last Council working group meeting took place to discuss the Local Development Framework. This is the detailed plan which will chart the city’s future for the next 20 years and more.
A “core strategy” is due for independent public examination later in the year. By the time of this Inquiry the response to government changes to planning guidance may be known. These may make it easier to develop greenfield land with major implications for the City particularly in the Osbaldwick and Huntington areas.
Of equal concern though will be the lack of progress on establishing detailed plans for the City centre and key development sites like York North West.
The later includes the 100 acre former British Sugar site part of which was slated to be an “exemplar” urban eco village. The “village” was to offer more energy efficient buildings, on-site renewable energy generation and the provision of improved access to open space. But all has gone quiet on that plan.
Similarly the promised response to the public consultation undertaken on the future of the site – which concluded on 26th January. – has still not been published.
The Council was also promising at public meetings that a planning application for the redevelopment of the site would be submitted during 2011.
That seems increasingly unlikely now as there has, as yet, been no consultation with residents by the site owners (ABF) who promised to make quick progress on a “Masterplan” for the area. They appointed architects PRP in April 2010 to move the site forward claiming that 1400 family homes could be provided there over the next 15 years.
The next meeting of the Councils working group is scheduled for 5th September and it is to be hoped that the new Council will have got its act together by then.
Residents need to know what is going to happen and when. Following the fiasco at Union Terrace they also need to understand what public consultation, if any, is planned?

Getting it Together: An evening with PJ Quinn. Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre

Wednesday 24th August 7.00pm – 8.30pm

£3.50 (Yorkcard) or £5.00

Come and meet the mother and daughter team who write as PJ Quinn. Jo and Pauline will be talking about how they wrote Foul Play and sharing tips on how to have fun writing together, despite the occasional email sulk!

Tickets and further information available from Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre
Tel. 01904 552651 email

Green Belt wind turbine approved

A 5.5 metre diameter wind turbine is set to become a feature of the landscape on the A59 Boroughbridge Road following a decision by the York planning committee. The turbine tower is being constructed at the Nairobi Stables and will be 9 metres high. Permission has also been granted for a detached garage which will be used to house equipment and to store vehicles. The power from the turbine will be used to generate electricity for a nearby dwelling and café. It is expected to generate about 9000 KWh per year.

Union Terrace car park – sale abandoned

I understand that St John’s are abandoning their plan to purchase the Union Terrace car and coach park.
It is now expected that the future of transport generally in the City centre, and car parks in particular, will be subject to proper consideration under the Council’s Local Development Framework consultation process.

York College A level successes

York College, where many Westfield teenagers end up taking their A levels is reporting record successes this year.
Their website ( reprts:
Another record year for A Levels at York College: 99.3% pass rate

York College’s A Level Faculty is very proud to announce its best ever A Level results. There were 1,325 A2 Level exam entries this summer at York College. The overall pass rate is 99.3%. This means that York College’s A Level results are well above the national average for the seventeenth consecutive year.

An outstanding 73 A* grades have been achieved by York College students, with 249 A or A* grades and nearly half of the total A Level entries achieving the very top grades (A*, A or B). The College is also delighted to report that 34 A Level subjects had a 100% pass rate.

Dr Alison Birkinshaw, Principal of York College, said: “I am absolutely delighted that once again we have surpassed our previous year’s A Level pass rate. The 99.3% pass rate, the exceptional number of high grades and the success of our students are all testament to the hard work, commitment and dedication of everyone at York College. These results will give our students a real advantage when they move on to higher education and employment and I would like to wish them all every success in their future careers, they really deserve it.”

For those looking to progress to studying a Higher Education qualification,
York College offers a range of full and part-time degrees at a fraction of the cost of going to other higher education establishments. Bob Saynor, Assistant Principal for Higher Education at York College says: “From this year, and in 2012, students could save a significant amount of money if they choose to study a degree course at York College. Particularly in the current climate, having the opportunity to live locally and study a degree course validated by some of the top universities in the country, could prove to be the best option for many students.”

Anyone interested in finding out about Higher Education courses at York College should contact the Customer Service Unit on tel: 01904 770200″.

Raceday traffic arrangements

Traffic management measures are introduced in the Knavesmire area for days when race meetings occur. How race day traffic will be managed depends on the expected attendance numbers for each individual meeting.

Ebor Meeting

Wednesday 17 to Saturday 20 August 2011
• Directional signage will be placed on major arterial routes to the city to encourage traffic to approach the racecourse via A1237/A64. Further signage within the city boundaries will reinforce the preferred route of approach.
• No Waiting Cones on Knavesmire Road, Campleshon Road, Albemarle Road (Part), Knavesmire Avenue, Bishopthorpe Road (part) and one side of Church Lane, Bishopthorpe.

Departure Phase Only – approximately 4:30pm to 7:30pm
• The traffic lights at Sim Balk Lane/Tadcaster Road junction will be turned off. During these hours there will be NO RIGHT TURN permitted in or out of Sim Balk Lane.
• Campleshon Road will be one way from St Chads Church with access only for buses / taxis / cycles from the junction of Lorne Street towards Knavesmire Road.
• Campleshon Road junctions with Albemarle Road, Curzon Terrace, and Knavesmire Crescent will be closed to vehicles.
• Knavesmire Road will be one way from Campleshon Road to Tadcaster Road. No access will be available from Tadcaster Road along Knavesmire Road towards the racecourse.
• Temporary Traffic signals will be in place at the junction of Knavesmire Road and Tadcaster Road.
• Traffic from car park A, on Knavesmire Road, will only be permitted to turn left when exiting onto Knavesmire Road, in addition at the junction with the Tadcaster Road vehicles from car park A will only be permitted to turn left, away from the city.
• Temporary Traffic Lights will be positioned at the car/coach park exit on Bishopthorpe Road.
• Traffic will be monitored.

Green Belt development at Askham Bryan

Council officials are recommending approval for a green belt development at Askham Bryan College.
A report to a Council committee is being considered on 18th August.The report says

“Application at: Land Lying To The North Of The Science Building Askham Bryan College College Service Roads Askham Bryan York Reference:11/01155/FULM
For:Erection of 7 single storey buildings forming an equine hospital and training centre with associated outdoor facilities, car parking and new access


1.1 The application is for an equine hospital that would entail 7 no. Single storey buildings within the grounds of Askham Bryan College. The proposed site would measure (along the northern boundary) approx 142 meters by a varying depth of 80 to 90 metres. The site is presently used for tractor training. A weather station in the form of a tall pole with guy rope attachments is located towards the eastern end of the site. The eastern boundary of the site is defined by a row of tall conifer trees, with a mature hawthorn hedge forming the northern boundary along the York Road frontage. A row of poplar trees defines the western boundary, whilst to the south of the site is the remainder of the college campus and its associated buildings. The site is within the boundary of a Major Developed Site in the Green Belt as identified in the Proposals Map of the City of York Development Control Local Plan and Policy GB10.

1.2 The proposed development site would be accessed from York Road to the north; the vehicle access would be in the north east corner of the site. There would be a visitor car park to the front the site, and the lorry park and staff parking would be accessed through an electronic gate. There would be pedestrian access on the southern boundary for students.

The proposed buildings would include:

1.3 An administration building which includes the reception area, waiting area, offices, staff room, dispensary, and laboratory. The building would be sited adjacent to the vehicle entrance and would be 14.2 metres by 23 metres and would be 5.1 metres to the ridge height. The building would be on a blockwork base with steel profile sheeting walls and roof.

1.4 The stable block/intensive care block is an L shaped building sited to the south of the proposed car park. The building would include a triage area with a number of stables and intensive care stables. The building would also include two staff bedsits and a staffroom/office. The building would measure 12.7 metres along its shortest elevations and 25.95 metres along its west elevation and 34.4 metres along its south elevation, the building would be 4.5 metres to the roof ridge. The building would be on a blockwork base of varying heights with steel profile sheeting walls and roof in green.

1.5 There would be a forge measuring 7.3 metres by 4 metres, and 3.2 metres to the ridge height and the external material would be steel profile sheeting.

1.6 The adjacent hay barn would be 11.85 metres by 4.45 metres, and would be 4.15 metres to the ridge height and the external material would be steel profile sheeting.

1.7 To the west of the stable block/intensive care block is the theatre block this measures 36.5 metres by 19.2 metres and would be 5.65 metres to the roof ridge. The building includes a number of different types of theatres and associated facilities.

1.8 The lameness building measures 24.77 metres by 25.38 metres and 6.1 metres in height to the roof ridge. The building would be on a blockwork base of varying heights with steel and ventilated steel profile sheeting walls and roof in green. The building would provide further stables, MRI, Ultra sound, X-ray, scint bone scan, and an office.

1.9 To the north of the lameness building, adjacent to the paddocks is the isolation block which is 11.4 metres by 5.1 metres, and 3.15 metres to the roof ridge.

1.10 The applicant, Minster Veterinary Practice, operates from five locations in and around York at Salisbury Terrace, Haxby, Earswick, Copmanthorpe and Poppleton, and has existing affiliations with Askham Bryan College. The Poppleton site houses the present equine part of the practice. The applicant would like to provide a better service and facilities and has aspirations of the proposed development to attaining RCVS Tier 3 status. The applicant contends that the provision of such a service can only be provided by the provision of a new facility, which in turn would generate other opportunities.

1.11 The proposed development would employ 23 staff, transferred from the other surgeries. It is intended that the existing surgeries will remain open with the exception of equine services at Poppleton.

1.12 Revised plans have been submitted for the theatre building, the administration building, and the stable block/intensive care block. The original plans had shown 2 bedsits and 3 intern flats. However there was no justification for the three flats, and staff living on the site 24/7 (as their only residence), and as such this was removed. The revised plans now show only two bedsits in the proposed stable block/intensive care building.

1.13 There is an extant planning permission on this site for an equine, farm animal, and small animal hospital (07/00753/FULM). The application was approved by West and Centre Planning sub Committee on 21 June 2007.The previous application has been made by the same applicants as in this case. The reason the development was not constructed was due to cost”.

Bus service changes

We reported on changes to bus services affecting the west of
York in July. The changes will be implemented from 28th August. Details are now
appearing on websites like




The Yorkshire travel planner should be updated shortly

The Council has to invite tenders to operate subsidised bus services.

Some of the tenders received were substantially below those
that were eventually accepted.

Arriva in particular decided to withdraw their tenders after
the final deadline. Not necessarily in the best interests of taxpayers or bus users
(if the Council ends up not being able to buy as many services as they had
hoped to)

Transdev seem to have picked up some additional contracts

Solar expedition on 2 wheels

Solar expedition on 2 wheels

Mon 22 Aug, 6.45pm to 8.45pm – Guided cycle ride
starts from underneath Clifton Bridge, Water End

2-hour exploration will take you along the recently improved Orbital route on a
mix of on and off road routes. Ride suitable for those who are confident on
roads and in traffic. Ride not suitable for trailers or recumbent cycles.
Please ensure you bring lights, as the ride will finish in the dark. You need a
road worthy bike, spare inner tube, suitable clothing and a drink. Children
under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Fiona Barker on (01904) 553440 or e-mail for further
information if required.