The five new bungalows being built by the York Council on Newbury Avenue are now several weeks late. The contract was supposed to be completed in earlySeptember.
The contract at the site has a value of £3/4 million.
The development was a controversial one because the Council declined to make adequate alternative off street parking space available for the former renters of the garages which used to occupy the site.
The development was delayed last year following a mix up over the relocation of a telecoms cabinet.
Building contractors have moved onto the Newbury Avenue building site before a promised parking bay has been brought into use. The contract is worth £730,000 and will see 5 bungalows built on the site.
The Council had originally insisted that the 4 space bay be provided before work started on demolishing the garages. They later hurriedly changed the condition to say the bays must be provided before construction work started.
The intention was that the bays would provide some relief for local residents forced to park “on street” when 20 or so vehicles are displaced from the garages.
That hasn’t happened and work has only just started on the bays.
Official’s had blamed a slow response from a utility company that had been asked to move one of its boxes.
Sadly the other parking bays promised for the beleaguered estate have also not been provided.
Local Councillors had allocated funding from their delegated estate improvement and ward committee budgets. They surveyed residents opinions on suitable sites a couple of months ago and received the thumbs up for locations near Beverley Court and Kempton Close.
But no feedback on the plans has subsequently been given to residents.
With only 6 weeks until the end of the financial year, there is now doubt whether the Windsor Garth and Danesfort Avenue spaces will actually be provided.
The latest proposals for the development of the Newbury Avenue garage site will bereported to the Councils Executive committee next week.
The new scheme involves the provision of 5 one bedroomed bungalows which will be built to a standard that allows easy wheelchair access.
The site is considered suitable for older or disabled people as it is reasonably close to the Lidl store and the number 4 bus service,
The proposal is undoubtedly better than the original plan for9 apartments.
Later, plans for 8 bungalows were released but these proved to be too cramped.
The five bungalow specialist accommodation now proposed is unlikely to significantly increase traffic volumes in the area, one of the concerns expressed about earlier schemes
However, the report fails to address the lack of car parking space on Newbury Avenue outside the existing flats (10 -16) or in the wider Windsor Garth area.
Residents will expect that the demolition of 28 garages (most of which have deliberately been left empty by the Council over recent years) will be mitigated by the provision of more off-street parking space in the area.
In total sites for over 20 parking spaces have been identified in the neighbourhood and there is a reasonable expectation that a Section 106 agreement will fund most of these.
If the spaces are provided, then the revised Council proposal is likely to gain more widespread support
The meeting will also hear new proposals for the development of a similar garage site on Chaloners Road
The Council has published several development plan proposals for the Newbury Avenue garage area site over the last few years. LibDem Councillors successfully resisted the plan to erect a block of flats feeling that this would simply add to existing traffic and parking problems in the area.
The design also interfered with open views of Hob Moor.
The Council has now come up with, what they hope will be, a final design for the area. The number of bungalows has been reduced to 5. Any plans will be put before the planning committee. Residents will be able to formally object to (or support) the proposals.
The plans will be on display at the Indoor Bowls Club on Thanet Road before the Ward meeting which is taking place on Tuesday at 6:30pm. Affected residents are being invited to come along to view them and ask questions.
At the moment the project is suspended as existing parking problems need to be addressed before any more traffic is introduced into the area. Sites for additional parking have been identified and Councillors await proposals from Council officials on timescales, funding etc.
One of the possibilities is a lay-by outside the existing flats in Newbury Avenue (10 –16)
It is unlikely that the plans will be progressed to the planning stage much before next year.
The construction of 8 bungalows on a garage site at Newbury Avenue was approved by the York Council last night It replaces a scheme for 9 apartments hatched by Labour Councillors when they held office.
The bungalows, which would attract “downsizing” older people, have been criticised by Labour last night as making “inefficient” use of the land.
Unfortunately the Council has so far ducked out of dealing with the knock on effects of developing the garage site.
More cars will now be parked on an estate where road side parking space is already at a premium.
The extra homes – added to the still to be occupied Hob Stones development – will also generate more traffic on the only access route (Kingsway West between Danesfort Avenue and Ascot Way).
No attempt has been made by the Council to address these issues. They are likely to be the major objections to the scheme when it is put before the Planning Committee later in the year.
NB. Although last nights Executive committee meeting can in theory be viewed “on line” (click)part of the section on Newbury Ave has been muted by officials. So residents may never know what was actually said about the plans!