We’ve reported several instances where fallen leaves could resent a safety issue.
Wear and tear takes its toll of street furniture and access gates. Maintenance work is needed at several locations.
Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.
Full details can be found by clicking the application reference
7 Bachelor Hill York YO24 3BD
Single storey rear extension
Ref. No: 19/02030/FUL
Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York
Non-material amendment to permitted application 17/02428/FULM – Alterations to bedrooms, house types, elevations, roof mounted PV, masterplan, FFL’s & boundary treatments
Ref. No: 19/01856/NONMAT
This application contains a large number of details changes to the Lowfield plans. Some were submitted as long ago as August but have not been subject to local consultation. Many are minor in nature or will have little impact on the existing local community. Some are more far reaching including a proposal to remove the existing perimeter metal railings and replace with a wooden boarded fence.. Leaving aside the additional costs involved in such a proposal, the railings are valued by some neighbouring house owners as they offer good security. They also allow wild animals such as hedgehogs to move freely around the neighbourhood. We think that individual neighbours should have been consulted on these changes.
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
Extensive conservation work is taking place on the Bachelor Hill amenity area this week.
Wild flowers were planted on the area a few years ago.
An section of Bachelor Hill is now managed as a wildflower grassland. The Council leaves it through the growing season to flower and set seed.
Cutting and removing the arisings takes place in late summer/autumn to maintain low nutrients (which promotes species diversity).
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) were there today cutting and are returning tomorrow to remove the arisings.
We’ve suggested that bark or wood chippings be put down at the Askham Lane entrance to the area to ensure that access is possible in wet weather. The weeds and grass also need to be strimmed from the gate.
The similar path at the Tennent Road entrance (see below) seems to be working well.
Andrew Waller was out and about helping to tidy up Bachelor Hill this weekend
A large number of cans were removed.
Some fly tipping, first reported on 5th February, was still there and has been reported again as has a full poop scoop bin.
Bachelor Hill is one of the areas targeted for a clean up as part of the “Great British Spring Clean” which is taking place on the afternoon of Saturday 4th March
In the meantime users of the area are being asked to use the new litter bin which has been provided and to do a little self help litter control.
There have been a couple of set-backs this week as decisions taken by the Council have only gone part of the way towards solving issues raised by local residents in the Westfield area.
Residents had petitioned the Council to secure the rear entrance snickets which serve their properties. The request followed years of problems with anti-social behaviour in the area (although the report from officials claimed that there had been no recent reports to the police). The snickets are not short cuts and can only, legitimately, be used to gain access to adjacent properties. Requests for prompt action were rejected this week, although the site will join the list, with dozens of other locations where action may be taken at a later date.
Each centre will receive a grant of £4000 a year. Although an improvement on what was on offer from the last Council (zero!) it will not be enough to allow the centres to re-employ a part time caretaker. In turn, this means that opening hours will continue to be dependent on the availability of volunteers. The Council have, however, identified a specific fund which will be used to keep the buildings in good structural condition (although, as they own the buildings, they pretty much had to do that anyway).
There are growing concerns that the Council is being unrealistic in expecting volunteers to take on an increasing burden in maintaining local community facilities. Sadly so far the Council have chosen not to consult residents on the options that they are considering. Sources within the Council suggest that it plans to reduce still further the standard of maintenance of public open spaces and that it is expecting local people to fill the gap. We doubt that will happen particularly at a time when the Council continues to waste money on “free” newspapers, “free” bus travel for under 18’s etc while continuing to rack up the amount that it borrows (and hence the interest charges that it must pay each month).
Cornlands Road park
The Council has agreed to close off one of the entrances to the Cornlands Road park. However the area remains insecure and needs further investment if it is to become a well used community asset.