Building work on the new Centre for the Disabled on Ascot Way seems to be progressing more quickly now. Cladding has been added to the building frontage. The adjacent Lincoln Court sheltered accommodation also now sports a new entrance lobby.
Work can’t be completed sooner enough for the neighbours. As well as disruptions cause by deliveries the bus shelter has been out of action while the nearby public noticeboard was damaged during building works. Both need to be renewed when the project is completed.
Elsewhere inevitable problems with bushes obstructing paths have been exacerbated by recent weather conditions
Residents have won their battle to prevent a huge 5G phone mast being erected on Bellhouse Way.
The 20 metre high mast would have been located next to the Foxwood Community Centre.
The proposal from Hutchinson/Clarke Telecom was heavily criticised by the residents association, ward Councillors and neighbours. They were concerned that the mast would dominate the residential streetscape, affect footpath widths, impede sight lines and could have facilitated criminals to use the cabinets to gain access to nearby properties.
The Council gives the impact on visual amenity as its main reason for refusing the application. The full decision notice can be read by clicking here
While the Telecoms Company could appeal against the decision we hope that they will now stand back and reflect.
A more obvious location for their mast would be on Foxwood Lane next to the Thanet Road sports area.This is well away from the nearest dwelling.
The existing mast cabinets could be moved there as could those which are currently located at the entrance to the Rugby Club car park (which also cause sight line problems for drivers).
Still, at least in this case, the Council seems to have heeded the views of the local community.
We’ve pointed out before, that the York Council is failing to properly maintain existing cycle paths.
Instead it seems preoccupied with launching new initiatives. Recently many of these have been ill considered and subsequently little used (e.g. the Marygate car park route)
The cycle path from Thanet Road to Foxwood is a case in point.
It has been impeded by a “lego” style barrier near Sherringham Drive for over two years. Despite pleas from the local residents association (who want the traditional style barriers restoring as the current set up allows access by motorcycles) there has been no response from the Council.
Nearby the cycle path itself is now cracking while a few metres away the white line markings have all but worn away.
There still doesn’t seem to be any systematic attempt to identify and repair defects.
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
Hutchison 3G Telecommunications Equipment Bellhouse Way York
Erection of 19 metre monopole supporting 6 no. antennas with a wrap around equipment cabinet at the base of the column, installation of 3 no. new equipment cabinets and ancillary development (next to grass verge, adjacent to Community centre, Bellhouse Way)
Planning application for 19 metre high Bellhouse Way 5G mast submitted
Despite a hostile response from local residents and Councillors to the informal soundings taken about their huge telecoms mast plan for a site near the Community Centre, Clarke Telecom have now submitted a formal planning application. Click here
Ironically, it comes on the day that the government announced that the mast user, the Chinese company Huawei, would be barred from involvement with the 5G roll out in the UK. Sources say this will put back the 5G timetable by between 2 and 3 years.
A 19 metre high mast in the middle of a residential area (twice the size of the existing mast) would tower over nearby trees, buildings and even lampposts. The ugly equipment antenna would not be shrouded.
The new equipment cabinets would further obstruct the footpath outside the community centre and would exacerbate problems with anti-social behaviour and trespass.
By far the best option would be for any mast to be located on the Thanet Road Sports area. A site off Foxwood Lane could be found which would have less impact on either peoples homes or leisure buildings. Existing masts on Thanet Road and Bellhouse Way could then be rationalised to one location which would avoid existing problems with sight lines being blocked for vehicle drivers.
Should this not be possible, then an alternative location, on the opposite side of the road from the Community Centre, would be preferable. This site takes the form of an inset which is currently occupied by cycle hoops (which could be moved into the park).
Clarke Telecom representatives have offered a series of largely bogus reasons why this site could not be used. An area equivalent to the requirement for the cabinets and pole base has been marked out by the Residents Association. This demonstrates that the proposal could be accommodated with minimal intrusion into the park. If necessary, the railings could be realigned. Any affected trees could be replaced elsewhere in the park.
It is even more important these days that public footpaths be kept clear of clutter as we need to allow plenty of space for “social distancing”. This would mean removing the grass verge if the Community Centre site were approved.
Problems have occurred over the years with youths and criminals climbing onto the cabinets to gain entry to the adjacent car park, centre, and private houses beyond.
Any new mast which may be deemed as essential should be placed next the park where the natural vegetation would help to screen the unsightly utility boxes.
The current proposal represents a visually unacceptable blight on a residential area and should be rejected by the York Council.
The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received
Bellhouse Way 5G Mast proposal
Although not yet a formal planning application, the Foxwood Residents Association have highlighted an informal consultation which is taking place on plans to install a 20 metre high 5G mobile phone mast next to the Community Centre on Bellhouse Way.
At 20 metres high the mast would dominate the surrounding area and be very visually intrusive. It is two and a half time higher than the existing mast.
The Residents Association have identified an alternative location, on the other side of the road, which would avoid the obstruction of the public footpath and which would also be better screened.
First York are using some of their Park and Ride “bendy” buses on stage carriage routes today including the number 4. This should increase capacity while allowing for safe social distancing. So far the plan seems to be working well.
Elsewhere, Acomb Moor Meadow has had its first cut of the season . This should make social distancing easier for the increased number of walkers that have been using fields like these for exercise during the health crisis.
A two metre wide strip has also been cut on Askham Lane (rural section) where this was practical. This should make safe distancing easier for those exercising in the area.
Less good news though on road safety. There was a bad crash on Bellhouse Way yesterday. No one was injured but some drivers and motorcyclists in west York seem to be using some roads as race tracks.
The police need to get on top of this problem as streets are set to become progressively busier with a proportionate increase in risk.