Huge York Road phone mast plan rejected by Inspector

Our April report

An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a 20 metre high 5G phone mast has been rejected.

The mast was due to be erected opposite Acomb Gables.

Rejected by Local Authority planners, we reported in April that the developers had appealed against that decision.

A second application for a mast (which is still outstanding) a few metres away had been branded by residents as “intrusive” It could “impact on the conservation area“. They asked that an alternative, less prominent, location be sought.

Now a government inspector has agreed with the residents.

The inspectors report (click) says,

.the mast would be an unduly prominent feature to the detriment of the character and appearance of the Conservation Area (CA).

There is a mile stone set against the retaining wall. As a traditional feature, this contributes to the appreciation of the streetscape as well as the character and appearance of the CA. Views on the approach to this mile stone would be obscured by cabinets placed on either side, to the significant detriment of the positive contribution this mile stone makes to the area and the CA.

I conclude that the proposal due to its siting and appearance would lead to significant harm to the character and appearance of the area. The proposal would also fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the CA. Within the terms of the Framework the harm to the CA would be less than substantial. However, mindful of my concerns in respect of the visual impact of the proposal and potential alternatives, I do not consider that it has been demonstrated that the public benefits of the proposal in this location are sufficient to outweigh that harm.

In the light of the Inspectors conclusion the local Planning Committee is expected to refuse the second application.

We will monitor the alternative proposal and any applications for other locations which may come forward.

Mental health services in Acomb

The future of NHS services in the Acomb area may become a little clearer at a meeting scheduled to take place next week


Acomb Gables (formerly Garth)

A Council meeting will be told that following a building programme at Acomb Gables on Oak Rise Dementia male beds will be re-provided within this unit.

Meadowfields (York) provides female dementia care.

The change will bring all dementia care within the York locality which will be important due to the connection with the acute hospital and physical healthcare. The transfer of the unit is anticipated during Winter 2016/17.

The Community Mental Health Team currently has office space and a small number of clinic rooms at Acomb Gables. Estate works have been agreed as part of the plans to bring Mental Health Older People beds into this unit. As part of these plans additional clinic space has been developed and will be available from Winter 2016/17.

However there is still no real news on the choice of location at which the City’s new mental health hospital will be built.

More speculation about future of health services in Acomb

The announcement that the Lowfields school site being considered as a possible location for a new mental health hospital has prompted questions about other health facilities in Acomb

Acomb Garth NHS choices web site review

Acomb Garth NHS choices web site review

Acomb Garth (Gables) on Oak Rise already provides mental health services for Acomb. There is no recent report by the CQC commission on Acomb Garth. Acomb Garth was reported to be changing its role with a view to providing dementia care services from March. But little information has subsequently been made public.  

The Trust web site still lists it as providing a HQ for community  mental health services

No change has been made to registration documentation, with the “NHS choices web site” not even quoting correctly the responsible NHS Trust (now Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust). There is even confusion about the name (Acomb Gables/Garth).

Trust web site Acomb Gables review

Trust web site Acomb Gables review

The Trust describe the work at the Garth/Gables as follows:

Acomb Gables Recovery Unit is a 16 bed adult inpatient unit, for men and women from York, Selby and the surrounding areas.

This inpatient service works closely with clients, community mental health team, family and friends.

The site offers:

  • one to one work around psycho-social interventions
  • an evolving therapy group programme and activity programme
  • support with activities of daily living and meaningful activity and employment
  • a wide range of opportunities is made available to access employment; housing; and occupation including voluntary work.

Adjacent to the Garth/Gables is the Acomb Medical Centre.

The Beech Grove GP practice, which is located there, has recently announced a merger with a practice based on Front Street. “It is proposed that the Beech Grove premises, currently in Acomb Health Centre would close and the newly merged practice would be situated at 14 Front Street, Acomb. This is the current premises of Front Street Surgery”. The change is expected to take place in October.

So it appears there will be vacant space on the Oak Rise/Beech Grove site.

Whether this would be a suitable location for a new hospital is another matter.

Transport links in central Acomb are better than Lowfields but neither approaches the range and flexibility of options available in the city centre.