Community Stadium – announcement on planning gaff expected tomorrow

Council official are expected to tell tomorrow’s York Council planning committee meeting why a Press notice, concerning the Community stadium planning application, had an incorrect deadline date for responses.

Notice published in Press

Notice published in Press

Discussion of the planning application for the stadium was scheduled to have taken place at a special Planning Committee meeting on  27th March

However the Press notice – which asked for comments on an environmental statement – does not expire until 2nd April, giving residents 21 days to respond.

It is thought that there may be an error in the Press notice return date, but any discrepancy is likely to be picked up by the opponents of the controversial proposal to include a large amount of retail floor space in the latest stadium design.

Residents say “No” to Tour de Yorkshire subsidy

Highway surfaces also criticised in latest resident’s survey results

A survey of 10,000 homes in west York has produced a interesting insight into residents views.

Results March 2015

Asked whether the York Council should use £150,000 of taxpayer’s money to subsidise the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race scheduled for 3rd May, 63% opposed the idea.

This will be a blow to the Councils “Cabinet” who approved expenditure of £250,000 on the event, before deciding to take half of the subsidy from business rate income.

Most criticised public service was highway maintenance. 78% said that road and footpath surfaces were unsatisfactory. This is a major rebuff for the Labour/Green Council budget for next year which will see £300,000 cut from maintenance expenditure.

70% of respondents thought that the Knights Rugby team should be able to play at the new Community Stadium. Talks on accommodating the Knights needs are rumbling on with little sign of differences being resolved quickly. Relationships deteriorated a couple of months ago when Council officials launched a public attack on the rugby clubs owner. The future of the Community Stadium is due to be debated at a meeting scheduled for 27th March.

Opinion was more divided on other issues with 53% undecided about whether the standard of healthcare in the city was satisfactory.

Community Stadium not on agenda for next planning committee meeting

Confirmation that the Community Stadium project is slipping further behind schedule has come with the publication of the agenda for the Planning Committee scheduled to take place on 19th March.

Community Stadium Nov 2014

Community Stadium planned for Huntington

This was to have been the meeting at which that the proposals would have been considered.

The timescale for a July 2016 opening for the stadium always looked very tight given the controversial nature of the “enabling” retail development. The project subsequently was thrown into disarray when first the Highways Agency suspended the scheme and then a “war of words” broke out between Council officials and the Knights rugby club, who were to have been one of the major users of the Stadium.

 A date has been reserved in the Councils calendar for a meeting on 27th March but It now seems unlikely that the planning application will be determined before the new Council’s Planning Committee has its first meeting in June.

It looks increasingly likely that the new Councillors, who will be elected on 7th May, will have a can of worms to sort out.

The March Planning Committee will, however, consider some important issues

George Hudson Street student flats

The committee will consider a change of use from offices to student accommodation comprising of 58 self contained units with associated facilities including shop, cycle store, managers office, communal lounge, gym and laundry. A new shop front to the proposed entrance on the George Hudson Street elevation will be provided. The building is Listed.

Del Monte Site, Skelton

The committee will have a second go at approving a new 60 home development at this former factory site.

Naburn Lock caravan park

The committee are being asked to agree that this 100 pitch caravan park be allowed to open throughout the whole year

New teaching block at the University of York

Proposal to build a 13 metre high, 4240 sq metres floor area, teaching block on a site on Spring Lane previously occupied by staff housing

Housing development on Grain Store site, Water Lane

An application for approval of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of 215 new dwellings, following the grant of outline permission in 2012

Community Stadium – last minute bid for all party support

With the planning application for the new Community Stadium held up as highways issues are reviewed, the York Council will today decide to set up an all party monitoring group for the project.

Community Stadium Nov 2014

Such a group was in place until 2011, after which the newly elected Labour Council decided to take project decisions behind closed doors.

The result was a two year delay in moving things forward with the complication of adding Citywide  swimming and indoor sport management responsibilities into the contract.

One consequence was the closure of Waterworld and an emerging threat to the future of the Yearsley swimming pool.

The war between the Councils Labour Leadership and the Knights Rugby Club continues with both sides now engaged in a “mentoring” process.

A “call in” of the planning application by the Highways Agency is adding to the delays with even the most optimistic supporter now doubting whether the stadium could open as promised in July 2016.

The establishment of the all party group is a welcome step forward and should help to sustain the project over the “all out” Council elections, due on May 7th. The make up of the monitoring group would be:

  • 1 x Labour
  • 1 x Conservative Group (Councillor Steward)
  • 1 x Liberal Democrat Group (Councillor Ayre)
  • 1 x Green Group (Councillor Taylor)
  • 1 x Labour Independent
  • 1 x Independent
  • 1 place for a Ward Councillor (Councillor Orrell – Huntington & New Earswick)

York Community Stadium builder confirmed.

Completion date slips to “Autumn 2016”

An article in “Construction Enquirer” has claimed that the new Community Stadium will be built by ISG.  

Community Stadium Nov 2014

ISG is a Yorkshire based company.

The article claims that the stadium will be completed in “Autumn 2016”.

That conflicts with the July 2016 occupation date previously publicised by the York Council and means that the football club may not be able to move home until the 2017/18 season.

The delays will come as no surprise to the many commentators who have queried the 15 month construction timetable.

The scheme has yet to get planning permission while the future of the Knights Rugby team is under question following a very public disagreement between a senior Council official and the Knights chairman.

The Enquirer article reads;

ISG has been confirmed as the preferred construction partner for the £41m York Community Stadium and Leisure Complex scheme.

ISG will be part of the successful consortium bid by Greenwich Leisure Ltd to build a new home stadium for York’s professional football and rugby teams including leisure, retail, office and community facilities.

The new 8,000 all-seater stadium will include hospitality and conferencing facilities, a new 25m six-lane swimming pool, fitness and active play facilities and a community hub.

Work is expected to start on site this summer with completion scheduled for autumn 2016.

ISG is believed to have beaten rivals Carillion and Barr to the deal.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, said: “Our involvement in the York Community Stadium project extends back to 2012 and we have worked closely with GLL and our consortium partners to bring the vision for this keynote regional leisure scheme to reality.

“ISG has exceptionally strong leisure sector credentials, delivering iconic sporting venues like the Olympic Velodrome and the National Football Development Centre in Newport, and we are looking forward to working with our consortium partners to create superb new facilities for York.”



Now senior York Council official declares war on York Knights Rugby Club

The acting head of the York Councils Environmental Services Department has tonight issued a statement containing an astonishing attack on the owner of the York Knights RLFC

York KnightsIn a media release from Sarah Tanburn – who was appointed by the now defunct Alexander regime to supervise the adoption of their “Big City” Local Plan and drive through major projects – says that the Council  “no longer has the necessary confidence in the working relationship with Mr Guildford or trust in his good faith to enable negotiations with him on the Community Stadium development“.

She effectively says that the Club must now make their own arrangements with third part facility owners.

The change in pollcy is entirely contrary to the ethos of the community stadium project which, since agreement was reached in 2010, was always intended to provide a home for both football and rugby clubs.

While accepting that legal issues between the Club and the Council were resolved in December, the Council now seems to have rejected an opportunity to get round a table and thrash out a deal.

it is unclear what involvement key Labour politicians (Cllrs Williams and Crisp) had in authorising the public attack, but it is likely to inflame the already shaky view that rugby fans have of the Council leadership.

John Guildford has made clear publicly that his main concern, about the deal offered by the Council, was that – contrary to the agreed planning permission – it did not guarantee that the Club could play games at Bootham Crescent until the new stadium opened.

It looks like any opportunity for the Knights to play at the Community Stadium will now rest on the results of the Council elections in May. The Liberal Democrats – who devised the stadium plan 5 years ago – remain committed to involving both sporting codes at the stadium.

There is now a major question mark about Labours attitude.

Latest Planning applications – Community Stadium, Boyes, British Sugar

Quick links to full detailed applications

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Acomb and Westfield wards.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference



Location:       British Sugar Corporation Ltd Plantation Drive York YO26 6XF

British Sugar site

British Sugar site

Proposal:       Outline application for 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

Ref No: 14/02789/OUTM

Applicant:      British Sugar   Contact:        Mr Neil Jones   Consultation Expiry Date:       14 January 2015 Case Officer:   Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision Level:        COMP


Location:       British Sugar Corporation Ltd Plantation Drive York YO26 6XF

Proposal:       Construction of development platform, engineering works and remediation and reclamation of site

Ref No: 14/02798/FULM

Applicant:      British Sugar   Contact:        Mr Neil Jones   Consultation Expiry Date:       14 January 2015 Case Officer:   Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision Level:        COMP



Acomb Alive representqaives Adndrew Waller and Sue Hunter outside the Front Street shop which will be converted for use by Boyes

Acomb Alive representatives Cllr Andrew Waller and Sue Hunter outside the Front Street shop which will be converted for use by Boyes

Location:       11 Front Street York YO24 3BW

Proposal:       Internal and external alterations to facilitate the conversion of 4no. retail units to 1no. retail unit

Ref No: 14/02840/FUL

Applicant:      W Boyes & Co Ltd        Contact R Peter Belt    Consultation Expiry Date        12 January 2015 Case Officer:   Victoria Bell   Expected Decision Level DEL


Community Stadium

Community Stadium Nov 2014

In addition the planning application for the new Community Stadium at Huntington has also now been published

Location:       Huntington Stadium Jockey Lane Huntington York YO32 9JS

Proposal:       Erection of 8,000 seat Community Stadium, leisure centre, multi-screen cinema, retail units, outdoor football pitches, community facilities and other ancillary uses, together with associated vehicular access, car parking, public realm, and hard and soft landscaping following demolition of existing structures

Ref No: 14/02933/FULM

Applicant:      Wrenbridge Sport York Limited And GLL   Contact Mr Daniel Brown Consultation Expiry Date        21 January 2015 Case Officer:   Kevin O’Connell Expected Decision Level COMP

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received.

York Community Stadium local consultation dates announced.

Continuing concern over tight timetableCommunity Stadium Nov 2014

We understand that  consultation meetings, involving local residents, about the design of the Community Stadium complex has been scheduled.

A series of public exhibitions will be held to give the community the opportunity to view the plans and provide feedback.

The events will be held on:

  • Friday 28 November at Orchard Park Community Centre, Badger Paddock, York, YO31 9EH between 2.30pm and 7pm and on
  • Saturday 29 November at City of York Council Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA between 10am and 4pm.

The exhibitions will be run as drop-in events and people are free to attend when convenient to them.

More details are available on this Facebook site

Clearly the project is still some way from the point where a detailed planning application can be submitted.

There are also continuing concerns about the source of the £12 million commercial investment needed to make the project financially viable

The planned opening date for the Stadium (July 2016) still looks to be optimistic.

The project is currently running 2 years behind the schedule agreed in 2010.

York Council project failures

Calls for system overhaul

With yet another major York Council project falling behind schedule, and hopelessly over budget, there are growing calls for a review of project management processes in the City.

Poppleton Bar Roadworks delays

Poppleton Bar Roadworks delays

The latest budget overrun is reported on the A1237 Haxby – Wigginton cycle path. As well as major delays the project will now cost over £1.3 million compared to a budget of £700,000.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said,

“It is time re-introduce regular project updates to the Councils monitoring committees.

Any significant delay – or cost overrun – of more than 10%  must trigger a formal report in future.

We’d also like to see more openness in reporting with regular updates being posted on the Council’s web site”

As well as the cycle path, projects which would be subject to review include:

The Press are reporting that the Green Council Group Leader has now decided that there are questions about the Lendal Bridge trial which do need to be answered publicly. Despite voting last week against an Inquiry, he is apparently now saying that the Council’s Chief Executive should be asked to account for the mistakes at a “governance” committee meeting.

NB. The Lendal Bridge situation is also likely to be discussed at the Council meeting which is scheduled to be held on 11th December.

Local Plan – York Council orders changes

Community Stadium gets final ”go ahead”

LibDem Euro MP Edward McMillan Scott with Westfield residents last year

LibDem Euro MP Edward McMillan Scott with Westfield residents last year

Opposition parties at last nights Council meeting flexed their muscles for the first time and rejected Labours “Big City” Draft Local Plan

The decision came shortly after 2 further Labour Councillors had defected leaving James Alexander’s residual group without a majority.

The highly controversial draft Local Plan had proposed to build 17,000 new homes mainly on Green Belt land.

It envisaged a population increase in the City of 40,000 over the next 15 years.

Now, following a successful intervention by Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Reid, those figures will be re-examined at a special meeting which will be held in November.

The meeting will take place after the Westfield by election and will be a major boost for those seeking to conserve areas like Acomb Moor.

NB. The Community stadium scheme was given the final go ahead at the same meeting last night