In response to a Freedom of Information request the York Council has now confirmed that it did not consult neighbours or local Councillors before issuing a license which allowed a building contractor to occupy the “old allotments” site at the rear of the library car park.
This site has been owned by the Council for over 15 years. The developers of the adjacent bowling Club land (which does have planning permission) had previously said that they did not want to combine the two sites to provide a abetter overall layout.
Work on the site disturbed residents living in South View Terrace and part of Lowfields Drive.
The first that residents knew of the arrangement, was when heavy plant moved onto the site and started to clear it. This prompted complaints about noise, dust and vibrations.
Spoil heap heights reached over 4 metres at one point.
Local fauna and flora on the site were badly affected.
The Council now says that it granted a license to occupy its land on 8th April. There was no consultation undertaken with neighbours.
Residents complained to the Council on 16th May about the problems being caused.
It wasn’t until 28th May that the Council wrote to affected neighbours telling them about the license.
The Council says that working hours on the compound are restricted to 8:00am – 6:00pm, Mon – Fri plus 9:00am – 1:00pm on Saturdays.
The Council says that “The compound licence requires the developer to leave the property in a clean and tidy condition at the end of the licence, including the removal of hardcore”.
It goes on to say that it expects the compound to be in use for 12 months.
An investigation into whether the developers have the necessary planning permission to use the building compound is still underway.
In our view affected residents have suffered unexpected and unreasonable disruption and should be entitled to compensation.
It is possible that the matter may be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman