News awaited on future of Barbican eyesore site

The derelict site next to he Barbican was due to be sold by informal tender last November. There has been no word since then and the land is still listed with Savills (Leeds).

The site has an existing planning permission for 187 apartments.

The land has been available for development for over 10 years. Unfortunately it currently blights the local neighbourhood and is an unwelcome sight for visitors walking the City Walls.

The Contonavirus will have had an affect on the house building market although current demand for some types of property in the City is apparently strengthening. The reduction in Stamp Duty should provide a further boost.

It would be a shame if this key site were left as it is for another decade.

Building sites causing problems for residents across the City

It isn’t just the Lowfields building site which is causing concerns for local residents. People living near a site on Windmill Lane – ironically also being built on playing fields – have also raised concerns about work going on during unauthorised hours.

All planning permissions list the permitted hours of work and these usually exclude Sundays while weekday working may be limited to 8:00am – 6:00pm.

Windmill Lane residents say that workers were on site from 7:30am on Sunday. There are also issues with heavy plant trying to access the site via unauthorised routes and well as concerns about wildlife conservation.

The problems will sound familiar to residents in the Lowfields area where more details of the Tudor Road closure- effective from 13th June  – have been published.

Tudor Road entrance to Lowfields building site

 “Normal working hours will be Monday to Saturday 8am to 5pm. It would only be in exceptional circumstances or in case of emergencies that we would work any later or on Sunday’s. It is highly unlikely that there would be any overnight work.”

“For the first 2 weeks the road will be closed entirely in both directions but pedestrian access will be maintained. Vehicular access will be available for residents and deliveries in Tudor Road up to the point of where our works will be.”

“Access to the garages between 77 and 87 Tudor Road will not be obstructed as they are not directly in our working area. Any customers who will be impacted have been contacted by Barhale and will be consulted whilst the scheme is taking place to tray and minimise disruption.”

“Access will still be available to the homes near Gale lane from the Gale Lane side of Tudor Road. The works will only be in the vicinity of 59 to 69 Tudor Road.”

Dijon Avenue access to building site

“Equipment that will be used will include a 20 tonne excavator, 9 tonne dumper, hydraulic breaker, compaction and cutting equipment.”

“The compound will have a generator on site and will usually be off overnight. However, if there is wet and inclement weather it may be required to dry the teams clothing.”

HGVs seen accessing building site via Dijon Ave

Local Councillors say they’re pressing for improvements for pedestrians and cyclists in the area.

Local residents in Dijon Avenue are, however,  already seeing large vehicles using the street even though the authorised access for Tudor Road is still currently open.

More problems at Lowfield building site

Residents have complained bitterly on the “Save Lowfields Playing Field” Facebook page as contractors Wates step up their activities. The main complaints concern noise and dust although the parking of plant on public highways has also been an issue.

Promised repairs to verges have not been completed.

Council has written to local residents

It appears that more disruption is in prospect as a two week closure of the Tudor Road entrance to the site is due to start on Saturday 13th June. Apparently a full closure of Tudor Road will be in place for two weeks during which time a sewer will be diverted from the school site.

Tudor Road will be closed for at least two weeks in June

From Monday 29th June for one week there will be a partial road closure with one lane closed and the road controlled by traffic lights. The closure will affect access particularly to 100-108 Tudor Road. The bus service will be diverted although First York haven’t yet confirmed their diverted route.

During this period heavy plant and deliveries will revert to using the Dijon Avenue access to the site.

The Council has let down the people of Lowfield very badly on this project. They should not be building on playing fields. Any development of the former built footprint of the school, should have been scheduled for completion over a maximum of 24 months.

 Now timescales are stretching out with no progress being made on the health centre, “police station”, elderly persons accommodation, self-build, communal living plots or even in providing the promised additional off street parking spaces for Dijon Avenue residents. .

Dijon Avenue site access will be used during Tudor Road sewer works

Progress is being made on providing football pitches and a luxurious clubhouse near Sim Balk Lane – mainly funded by contributions from the Lowfields development.

There seems to be no prospect of the open space and playgrounds being provided at Lowfields unless and until the whole of the development is completed.

Verge damage has not been repaired

That could be 5 years or more away.

The health crisis will affect the housing market in ways that can only be guessed at. It seems possible that the Council may end up being unable to sell the bulk of the 140 homes that it is currently building. Their decision to set up an “in house” sales team already looks suspect (and expensive)

Altogether an ill judged, poorly managed project which reflects no credit on the City of York Council