Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

Plans could bring more traffic problems to Ascot Way

Below is the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

There are two linked applications, which could have a major impact on the Green Lane/Kingsway West/Ascot Way part of the Westfield ward, published this week.

In effect part of the existing Hob Moor School playing field will be built on because of a plan to provide a centre for disabled children on the site currently occupied by Windsor House.

A compensatory school sports field will be provided on an area of land, adjacent to Hob Moor, which is currently left in a natural state. Improvements to the remaining nature reserve are promised.

The most controversial aspects of the children’s centre plan relate to traffic, parking and the development timetable.

Contrary to expectations, all traffic will access the children’s centre site via Ascot Way.

An (unconvincing) traffic assessment report says this can be accommodated on the existing highway network. The reports appear not to consider the fact that Kingsway West is a “no through road” and that existing bends in Ascot Way already make it difficult for wide vehicles to pass each other. Despite this, officials talk of several mini buses accessing the new development each day. Mini buses already access the adjacent parking areas at the school. They are adequate to meet the needs of the new centre.

The Council’s transport consultants also appear to have a romantic view of the ability of the number 24 bus service to accommodate additional demand. No attempt has been made to provide a more suitable (off street) bus stop on Ascot Way.

Only 15 parking spaces will be provided at the Children’s Centre, which will employ 42 staff.

The applications are silent on the timetable for development.

Residents have already said that it would be wrong for building works to be taking place at both this site and the nearby Newbury Avenue garage site development at the same time. Plant and lorries from two sites would further damage an environment that has yet to recover from the extended development at Hob Stones and recent “broadband” excavations.

The establishment of the centre of excellence for disabled children is a worthy idea, but the implications ion the surrounding community need to be understood and resolved before any planning permission is granted.

A separate planning application for changes to Lincoln Court is expected shortly.  Both should be considered together by the planning committee as they are interdependent.

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Hob Moor Community Primary School Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS

Creation of new area of playing fields, wetland areas and timber walkways, erection of fabric shelter over outdoor class space

Ref. No: 18/01475/GRG3 

Nature area and new football pitch

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Windsor House 22 Ascot Way York YO24 4QZ

Erection of part single storey part two storey centre for disabled children and their families following the demolition of existing care home with associated parking, access and landscaping works (includes part of Hob Moor School site)

Ref. No: 18/01467/GRG3 

Disabled children’s centre site plan 2

Disabled children’s centre site plan 1

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Newbury Avenue garage demolition approved. No plans for better parking

Inadequate parking causes obstructions for buses and deliveries

The planning committee have approved the plan to demolish 28 garages in Newbury Avenue. They will be replaced with 5 bungalows.

The committee declined to impose a condition requiring the developer to contribute towards the provision of alternative off street parking provision in the area.

Some of the garages have not been let for several years following a decision by the housing department to leave them empty. This has already exacerbated the parking situation in the Windsor Garth area.

The only hope for more parking provision now rests with the use of a small delegated ward committee budget. However this would provide only a handful of spaces (on lay-bys situated on Windsor Garth) and it could be the autumn before the work is started.

The Kingsway area has been poorly treated by the York Council in recent years. It has only just begun to get over the extended (nearly 3 years) build period for the Hob Stone development. Roads are still showing signs of the effects that heavy building wagons had. Damage to speed tables has been very pronounced. 

Residents living in the area will be viewing with apprehension the possibility that the redevelopment of the Windsor House site could take place at the same time as the Newbury Avenue building works.

On the basis of yesterdays planning committee decision, they cannot look to that quarter for any support in addressing transport and planning problems in the area.

 

Newbury Avenue development – planning recommendations published

Inadequate of street parking in Windsor Garth

Anger as parking problems not addressed by York Council officials

Council officials are recommending that plans to build on the garage site on Newbury Avenue are given the go ahead.

The issue will be discussed at a planning sub committee meeting taking place on 3rd May.

On the previous day (10:15am Wednesday 2nd May), Councillors will be visiting the site. They will no doubt be able to see the parking problems which already exist in the area.

Residents may attend both meetings and can register to speak at the committee meeting. To do so residents should telephone York 551088 before 5:00pm on 2nd May.

Grassed areas have already been damaged by vehicles and plant

The officers report is negligent in at least one way. Objectors have pointed out that the loss of 28 garages – and with them an equivalent number of off street parking spaces – will have a major impact on congestion and parking problems on the estate.

The report offers no response to this concern.

There are already problems when large vehicles and buses try to access the narrow roads. The problems have got worse since the Council stopped new lettings at the garages while the overspill from the Hob Stone development has also hit the Windsor Garth area.

Now the Council is also threatening to redevelop the Windsor House site on Ascot Way. Again it has given little thought to the parking problems that will emerge both during building works, and afterwards.

It could mean that major building works will take place within the next year at both sites at the same time – a recipe for transport chaos with the only available access to the estate being the relatively narrow route  from Kingsway West.

Grass damaged by parked vehicles

Some objectors to the Newbury Avenue plan have demanded that alternative off street parking spaces be provided before demolition starts. They have pointed to several sites where the provision of matrix protection on grassed areas would provide an option while retaining the green appearance of the estate.

Currently an increasing number of vehicles are being parked on these grassed areas anyway – resulting during periods of  wet weather in unsightly damage which is expensive to repair.

NB. Efforts are being made to form a new Hob Moor Residents Association in the area. The residents group will focus on opposing the Councils plans for the estate and will seek additional investment to address existing problems.

The old Kingsway Area Residents Association (KARA) was disbanded about 5 years ago.

Plan for disabled centre in Ascot Way faces £350,000 financial hurdle

A report being presented to a Council meeting next week says that the cost to taxpayers of developing a Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children and their families in Ascot Way will be more than expected.

An additional £350,000 will have to be borrowed to finance the £4.3 million project.

This is mainly the result of a lower than expected valuation of The Glen Short Breaks centre which is to be sold to help pay for the new development.

When originally suggested, the expectation was that the Glen site would be sold for £1,250,000. It is this figure that has reduced and produced the funding shortfall.

Annual repayments (principal plus interest) on the borrowing are expected to be around £195,000 a year.

The news comes a day before an open meeting to discuss the project is being held at Windsor House (see below)

Shock as vandals trash pensioners bus shelter

A bus shelter mainly used by elderly residents  and located on Ascot Way has been trashed. 6 of the windows have been smashed with broken glass now posing a hazard for pedestrians and animals. We are concerned that the Police do not seem to bring many vandals to court so we hope that residents will cooperate in identifying those responsible for this incident.

 

Ascot Way bus shelter trashed

Plans for Centre of Excellence for Disabled Children revealed.

Ascot Way proposals generally welcomed

The plans to establish a new centre for disabled children on the former Windsor House site on Ascot Way were generally welcomed at a public meeting held on Monday. The plans will now be discussed at a Council Executive meeting next week

The Council says that the new building will be the setting for a range of support services which will enable disabled children to remain in their families and in their community, delivered from a safe, accessible space

  • Flexible short break provision to meet the needs of children and young people with Autism, Learning Disabilities and/or additional health needs.
  • Family Intervention Rapid Support Team (FIRST) and Therapeutic Short Breaks a specialist Clinical Psychology led intensive assessment and intervention service for families with children and young people who have Autism and Learning Disability and challenging behaviour which affects their ability to live in the local community

The facility will be linked to Hob Moor Oaks special school. Disabled children will be able to walk to the new provision after school, instead of being transported across the city on minibuses. Part of the playing field of the school will be used for the project.

The buildig will replace the facilities currently provided at The Glen.

The scheme is imaginative and worthy of support. However, the proposal to retain the front entrance (and therefore vehicular access) via Ascot Way is controversial. There are already congestion and parking problems in the area. An access, with car parking,  via Hob Moor school would address this issue, while offering the opportunity to provide better accessibility for Lincoln Court.

The detailed plans also suggest that an outdoor play area be provided adjacent to Lincoln Court. While many older people like to feel involved in the local community, inevitably playgrounds can be noisy places. We think that the location of this part of the facility should be reconsidered.

Residents will hope that any building work on the project will not take place at the same time as the threatened development of the Newbury Avenue garage site.

Illustrations of what is proposed are reproduced below

Weather has impact on services in York

High winds have been blamed for he increase in litter seen today. Insecure recycling has been blown around many suburbs with the Council struggling to catch up on their collection schedules post New Year.

Full litter bin on Bellhouse Way

Leaf and tree detritus in gutters on Askham Croft

Litter blown by high winds today in St Stephens Road

Surface water problem at junction of Ashford Place and Ascot Way

Waterlogged verges are being damaged by vehicles

Better news for Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court

Elderly residents of sheltered accommodation units at Lincoln Court can expect the building to be modernised next year,.

Top of the priority list is new windows although a  general uplift is also needed.

The building was discussed yesterday at the Councils Executive committee meeting which decided to close the adjacent Windsor House elderly persons home.

The two buildings share a heating system.

Residents of Lincoln Court had been left in suspense while Council officials consulted about closure plans but it now seems that the future of the sheltered accommodation is secure.

A report on the future of the Windsor House site is expected early next year. One is suggestion is that a “centre of excellence” for disabled people should be built there.

The Council will first have to address chronic traffic congestion and parking problems in the Kingsway West/Ascot Way/Windsor Garth area.