Major York brownfield site gets development boost

City of York Council welcomes a decision by the Secretary of State to set new conditions which will help unlock the former British Sugar site and other unused brownfield sites in the city.

Taking into account York’s emerging Local Plan and the Upper and Nether Poppleton Neighbourhood Plan, the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said that allocating 20% affordable housing to the site off Boroughbridge Road is reasonable.

Because of the scale of the development, the Minister has recognised that delivering that percentage would not be viable in the initial phases of development. So the recommendation proposes that a minimum 3% provision would be made with additional affordable housing provided based on reassessment evidence for each phase.

Labour Councillor told to remove propaganda from Council noticeboard

A Labour Councillor in York has been told to remove party political literature from a Council owned noticeboard in Front Street.

The Acomb Councillor had posted a leaflet, on the publicly funded board, attacking LibDem and Conservative Councillors over the siting of a new park in the Boroughbridge Road area.

The leaflet says, “The Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition in charge of the Council has completely ignored the petition (collected by Cllr Barnes asking for a public park at the old Manor school site) riding roughshod over the views of local people and trying to shoehorn ever more housing into an area that they know already has a shortage of open space” etc.

The leaflet goes on to advertise a public meeting at which the local Labour MP will be present.

A Code of Conduct governs how local Councillors are expected to behave. The Code specifically states ” When you use or authorise the use by others of the resources of the Council you must ensure that such resources are not used improperly for political purposes (including party political purposes)”

Now Cllr Barnes has been ordered to remove the leaflet by lunchtime today (Friday).

The issue of where the new park, planned for the Sugar Works development on Boroughbridge Road, should be located has engaged residents for  over 5 years.  Ironically the preference for a central location emerged following consultations by the then Labour controlled Council in 2012.

In 2013, the Council sold the old Manor School site to developers. No conditions were placed on the sale but the expectation was – and remains – that an access road would bisect the field.

The history of the site seems to have largely escaped the notice of several current Council members.

The first opportunity to consider Cllr Barnes petition will come next Wednesday when the Planning Committee will decide on its reaction to plans tabled by the developers.

In the meantime, Councillors are being urged to make sure that public noticeboards contain only factual information. Some are also being encouraged to use a little soap and water to keep the boards clean!



Carlton Tavern to be demolished Council prepares to oppose development plans for former Sugar Works on Boroughbridge Road

Planning committee Councillors voted last night to approve a proposal to demolish the Carlton Tavern and replace it with an elderly care facility.  Ironically the decision was taken on the casting vote of a Chairman who would not have been in that position had he not been arbitrarily removed from his Executive post in September by the Council Leader.  With a different Chair, the decision might have gone the other way, although the applicants would no doubt feel that they would have had a good chance of winning the inevitable subsequent appeal.

Next up, in an important series of planning decisions pending on the Acomb side of the City, is consideration of plans for the Sugar Works and former Manor school site on Boroughbridge Road.

The Council has dithered for over 3 years in getting this, apparently ideal, brown field housing site off the drawing board. The owners finally lost patience and have appealed to the Secretary of State to intervene on grounds of “non-determination” by the York Council. The planning application was first submitted in 2014.

Consultation had started in 2013

Bizarrely the Planning committee must now formally say whether they would have approved the application had it been presented to them.

They are being asked to consider “the development of the site comprising up to 1,100 residential units, community uses (D1/D2) and new public open space with details of access (to include new access points at Millfield Lane and Boroughbridge Road and a new link road, crossing the Former Manor School Site) and demolition of the Former Manor School buildings”

Officials are recommending that the proposal be opposed.

They list many deficiencies in the plan while acknowledging that the site was slated for housing development in the Draft Local Plan tabled in 2011 (by the then LibDem led Council), by the Labour Council in their 2014 Draft Local Plan and again by the new Coalition administration last year.

The main reasons for refusing the application are listed as:

  • Inadequate financial contributions toward pre-school, primary school, secondary school funding and off-site sports provision
  • The absence of any affordable housing

There has been a lot of talk recently about allocating the former Manor School playing field as a public park. In 2012 the then Labour controlled Council identified the need for a more central area of public open space as part of a “community hub” on the site.

Over 9 ha is identified in the current proposals for this purpose (In addition an “off site” new cricket pitch will be provided).

In 2013 the Council sold the former Manor School site, including the playing fields, to ABF – the current planning applicants. The sale was not conditional.

At the very least, the planning meeting should determine whether centralised or peripheral open space is the desired way forward for this development.

NB Proposals to develop the Lowfields playing fields will go before the Planning committee in January.

Applications are also expected soon for the former Oakhaven elderly persons home site on Acomb Road, the adjacent police buildings and for the redevelopment of Windsor House in Ascot Way

Police appeal following recent burglary on Boroughbridge Road in York


North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information about a commercial burglary that occurred in York.
It happened on A59 Boroughbridge Road, York between 10pm on 26 May 2017 and 8am on 27 May 2017 and involved a Mercedes Sprinter flat bed van VRM KN59 GSU being stolen from Oaktree Nursery. Other high  value items were also stolen.We are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for Leon Dryden. You can also email

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170091337

Witness appeal following serious collision at Carr Lane junction

Police are appealing for a vital witness to come forward after a road traffic collision in York, which left a pedestrian with serious injuries.

It occurred at around 12.15am on Saturday 8 February 2014, at the junction of Boroughbridge Road and Carr Lane.

The collision involved a silver Skoda Octavia taxi, travelling along Boroughbridge Road towards the city, and a 31-year-old York man, crossing the road from Carr Lane towards Ouse Acres.


British Sugar Supermarket – false start

According to information provided at the York Council meeting on Thursday, it appears that no decision has been made on the size of any supermarket which may be built on the British Sugar site off Boroughbridge Road.

British Sugar site

On November Council Leader James Alexander announced in the media that a large supermarket would form part of the development.

The publication of consultation plans a few days later showed no large store prompting concerns that the location of the “community hub” would be prejudiced by the extra traffic flow that such a store might generate.

Now it appear that , although a Tesco Express style “corner” store (with around 200 sq metres of floor space) was expected – and needed for the 1000 home development – no proposals for s superstore have actually been made.

A superstore can have a floor space of around 2000 sq metres.

On Thursday the Council Leader admitted that his comments had been premature.

Answering a question from Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Reid, about the size and impact of a supermarket, he said,

The quote from The Press was referring to a sentence in my speech given at the annual business conference. The sentence was “The site is likely to include a new supermarket, further boosting employment prospects”.

There has been interest expressed for a new supermarket in this locality but no deal is yet complete. Consultation will take place once there are firmer proposals.

Public exhibitions set to unveil plans for former British Sugar site

British Sugar site

British Sugar site

British Sugar is inviting local residents to attend public exhibitions to discuss proposals for the redevelopment of the former British Sugar industrial site off Boroughbridge Road in York.

The events will take place on Thursday 28 November and Saturday 30 November and will provide residents with the opportunity to review the draft Masterplan options for the site and discuss the proposals with the project team.

City of York Council has consulted for a number of years on the future development of the site and has identified it in its Draft Local Plan for a residential-led development, which will deliver much-needed family homes.

However the Council’s Leadership is understood to be pressing for a large supermarket to be included in the development which could cause huge traffic pressures in the area while robbing the beleaguered Acomb shopping centre of vital footfall.

The exhibitions will be held at the former Manor School site, Low Poppleton Lane, York, YO26 6BB between 3pm and 7pm on Thursday 28 November and between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 30 November.

Site tours will also be offered to those attending the Saturday event.

Further information is available by calling 08448 425285. Following the exhibitions information will be uploaded to the website