Revised plans submitted but York’s oldest bowling green still under threat

Developers have submitted revised plans for the development of the Acomb Bowling Green site on Front Street. The plot is located behind the Acomb Explore Library.

The revised plans can be viewed by clicking here

The main differences in the revised plan are:

  • – 10 as opposed to 11 dwellings are proposed
  • – Change in the layout
  • – Clarification of proposed ground levels
  • – Widening of vehicle access in front of the public house to facilitate deliveries

There is no evidence that the Council, as the owner of the library site and the former allotments next to Chancery Court, is engaging on the future of their parcels of land.

The new plans do appear to provide for a potential access to these areas but fall far short of the hoped for comprehensive regeneration plan.

Council officials were instructed to buy the bowling club land some 10 years ago but failed to negotiate a deal. (The purchase would have allowed the club car park to be used by the Library, although bowling activities could have continued)

Residents of Vyner House have already petitioned against the proposals which would remove not only York’s oldest bowling green, but would also see another area of green space lost from within the Acomb neighbourhood.

Any development should ideally embrace accommodation aimed at older people (amenities are on the doorstep) as well as providing much needed office space for the Library, Police and neighbourhood workers.

There were hopes that a “pocket park”could be incorporated which might include some allotment beds.

Residents can object to the current plans via the Councils planning on line web site click here The planning reference is 18/00586/FULM

What’s on in York: Discover TV and Movies Online

Jul _25Movie

Acomb Explore Library

Wed 25 Jul

1.00pm – 2.00pm


Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV, DisneyLife…there are so many ways to watch TV and Movies online and we’ll show you how.

In this hour-long session, we’ll demonstrate the best ways to watch movies and TV series on your PC and mobile devices. We’ll compare subscription prices and discover what you’ll actually get within your membership.

For more information please call Acomb Explore Library on (01904) 552651 or

What’s on in York: Discover Mobile Internet @ Acomb Library

Jul _18Mobile

Acomb Explore Library :

Wed 18 Jul :

1.00pm – 2.00pm :


In this hour-long session, we’ll demonstrate the best ways to manage your mobile data, connect to public WiFi and avoid all the pitfalls of using data-draining apps on the go!

For more information please call Acomb Explore Library on (01904) 552651 or

Opposition mounting to Front Street building plans

Pensioners petition against proposal to develop Bowling Green

Acomb Bowling Club

The Council has told the proposed developers of the Acomb Bowling Club green on Front Street that they need more time to come to a view on their proposals. They say that there are access and other problems associated with the proposal to build 11 houses on the site.

comment on planning application

The news came after it emerged that a petition, signed by pensioners in an adjacent block of flats, and objecting to the loss of green space had been lodged with the Council. The pensioners were also concerned about potential noise nuisance from the site.

Sport England have also sounded a warning about the plan highlighting the continued erosion of sports pitches in the Acomb area.

Concerns have also been raised about the impact on the local bat population and other wildlife in the area.

The Council’s own heritage officer has pointed to the historical significance of the site. It is thought that there may be important archaeological deposits in the area.

Comment on Planning application

Although the balance of comments is against the development in its present form, perhaps surprisingly local amenity societies, Ward Councillors and adjacent property owners have so far failed to make their views known.

The proposals – which could jeopardise plans to bring derelict land to the rear of the Library back into use, while providing much needed accommodation for older people – are a particularly poor piece of incremental planning.

Hopefully a more coherent plan for this part of Front Street will emerge now.

Future plans for York libraries

 Council to tender for new service provider

Acomb Explore Library

City of York Council’s Executive will be asked to consider proposals for the future development of York’s Libraries and Archives at a meeting later this month (21 June).

If the proposals are agreed, the council will look to appoint an operator for the service for the next 15 years with a contract of £32 million; maintaining the existing level of funding despite pressure on budgets

The existing five-year contract with Explore Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited expires on 31 March 2019.

The move is likely to cause concern that the substantial progress made by the current operator will be jeopardised. Working together the Council and contractor have managed to sustain the existing network of facilities across the whole City – unlike the situation in  most other parts of the country.

The tender documents may raise the prospect of reduced hours or “volunteer only”  manning at some small branches.

Some of the Councils “outsourcing” deals have failed spectacularly.

Yesterday the Warden Call CIC was revealed to have crashed financially and it will now be brought back “in house”.  “Make it York” has had a troubled couple of years while GLL has been criticised for chasing footfall, since it took over the Councils leisure centres, at the expense of a timetable with a broader appeal.

The procurement plans follow a citywide consultation from November 2017 – February 2018, which 2,484 people responded to, giving their views on the council’s vision for the future of the city’s library and archives service.

Key elements of the consultation feedback include:

  • The need to retain key services such as borrowing books, providing a reading and studying space, and providing access to computers
  • The desirability of providing a reading cafe on site
  • The importance of the library as a community hub with opening hours to reflect the needs of local residents
  • Libraries providing state of the art learning spaces
  • Maximising the best use of the buildings through partnership working
  • Respondents broadly supported for the vision of moving away from stand alone library buildings and recognised the need for partnerships to create services co-located with other community amenities.

Key proposals for the future service include:

Print from your own devices – new service at Acomb Explore Library

UntitledExplore libraries have updated their printing services to include printing from any device.  Thanks to these new kiosks, anybody can now print documents at the libraries without logging onto the library computers or even being a library member.   Residents and visitors alike can simply email their print jobs to the library printer from their mobile phones, laptops, or their home PC.  So if you’re on your way to a gig and forgotten to print your ticket, it’s no problem, just email the tickets to the library printer, and receive a unique job reference back to collect your print.

The new kiosks have been installed at Acomb, Clifton, Tang Hall and York Explore libraries, with the support of United Carlton and City of York Council IT.  Helen Whitehead, E-Services Librarian says “For a while now, customers have been asking for wi-fi printing, and we’ve found it tricky to find a secure but affordable way to achieve it.  We’re so pleased we’ve found this solution, which doesn’t just offer secure wifi printing, but also printing from home, and easy photocopying and scanning too.”

While libraries have offered printing from public computers for many years, this new technology brings the service right up to date with customers able to collect prints privately and efficiently themselves, without staff handling their sensitive documents, and the prints are higher quality too.

Explore York Libraries & Archives is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status, and make a small charge for printing and photocopying.  Full details of prices, and a full description of the encryption methodology used are on the library website

Black & White Colour


For more information about this service please contact:

Helen Whitehead, E Services Librarian

01904 554291

What’s on in York: Sensory Play – Make a Noise in Libraries

Bookstart Bear Logo JuneAcomb Explore Library :

Tue 5 Jun :

10.0am – 11.30am :


Come and celebrate National Bookstart Week and make a Noise in libraries 2018 at York Libraries.

In this session we will listen to the National Bookstart Week book “A Busy Day for Birds” by Lucy Cousins and then enjoy some sensory and tactile play.

This is a free event, no need to book just turn up and join in the fun.

What’s on in York: Researching Your First World War ancestors

May _10Find

Acomb Explore Library :

Thu 10 May :

6.00pm – 7.30pm :


Have you always wanted to research your First World War ancestors but are not sure where to start? Why not join our Archivist Laura Yeoman as she talks you through some of the sources you can use, both onsite at York Explore and online. Following the talk there will also be an opportunity to get your questions answered.

For more information call the library on (01904) 552651 or