Green burial plan for Osbaldwick?

An unusual planning application from the Osbaldwick Parish Council this week. They hope to gain permission for an area of rough grazing to be turned into a natural burial ground.

The land is located off Murton Way and has been talked about as a possible site for house building in the past.

Details can be found on the Council’s planning portal under reference 21/00415/FUL.


Not far away, the new Derwenthorpe development has come in for some criticism from some house owners.

The development does not yet have a “completed” look although most of the homes are now occupied.

The original idea of taking traffic out of the residential areas (as they did in “Poundbury”) does not seem to have worked very well as posters have now been erected by some parents concerned about traffic speeds in streets on which children play.

The controversial district heating system still has its critics. The building which houses the heat generation system is remarkably ugly.

Some residents have even set up their own Facebook group (7) The Real Derwenthorpe | Facebook

Housing management shambles in York

Standards seem to be slipping in the social housing sector in York with one JRHT tenant seeking crowd funding to repair damage caused by a leaking pipe.

The incident occurred on the Trusts flagship Derwenthorpe estate where the district heating system has proved to be problematic.

Crowd funding appeal following flooding damage

One local source says that the absence of isolating valves at some individual properties means that flooding problems have occurred which might have been avoided.

The incident perhaps points up a potential negative side for those in the forefront of adopting new technologies.

The York Council regards itself as an innovator and is spending huge sums on building “green” homes. While some features (insulation, solar power) are well established and beneficial, others have not been tested for long term durability in varying climatic conditions.

The rather wobbly logic behind the programme might in part be traced to a lack of professional leadership. The Council has not had anyone in charge of its housing operations since the beginning of the year.

A recent appointee to the post gave backword and it remains unclear where responsibility now lies for the day to day management of York’s 8000 strong council housing portfolio.

There are are growing problems in some estates.

In the Foxwood area, seven homes are currently empty. One bungalow was vacated by an older person when they went into a care home 3 years ago. The property has still not been relet even on a temporary basis.

Another bungalow has been undergoing repairs since it was vacated 9 months ago.

Bungalow empty for over 9 months

It also appears that the mistake made last year, of introducing a reactive cleansing service, has reappeared.

During the last lockdown the older “barrowman” approach was reintroduced . Cleaners were responsible for tidying a specific geographical area. There were notable improvements in cleanliness standards.

That system has now apparently been scrapped, with cleaners now only reacting to reports of issues.

Some estate manager posts are unfilled and the Council has failed to update its register of garages which are available to rent.

All in all, an area of concern.