More delays at Lowfields

The Yorkshire Water’s work on Tudor Road, which is intended to provide services to the Lowfields development, continues to make slow progress.

Tudor Road site entrance has been blocked for 2 months

Tudor Road and the public footpath were blocked for a couple of weeks from 15th June. Work on the main carriageway continued until early July. It was expected that delivery lorries to the Lowfields development site – which had been using Dijon Avenue – would then return to using the authorised Tudor Road entrance.

The Dijon Avenue site entrance is being heavily used

That hasn’t proved to be the case with lorries still trundling down Dijon Avenue each day. It seems the 2 month duration will pass before there is any relief.

Little Tudor Road communal housing site is now covered by a spoil heap

Meanwhile the section of the site reserved for the Yorspace communal housing scheme has been taken over by Wates builders. They have established a spoil heap there and are also storing other materials on the site. Apparently the cooperative still haven’t actually completed the purchase of the land and it remains unclear whether the promised homes will ever actually get built.

Communal housing site – foreground – remains derelict

That was the week that was in west York in pictures

Several suburban shopping streets need a tidy up. We asked for bins at Foxwood to be emptied but the Council now needs to provide more support for businesses that “soldiered on” during lock-down providing lifeline services for some.
Still too much graffiti on utility boxes in the area. Two more reported in the Dijon Avenue area this week
Rain and wind have brought detritus down blocking some drainage channels. We’ve asked for those in Kingsthorpe to be swept.
The footpath at the high numbered end of Tudor Road has been levelled. It had been damaged by tree roots. We expect that the problem will reoccur
However the nearby footpath on Tudor Road is still blocked by overrunning Yorkshire Water works

A major problem across the whole of the City are rapidly growing weeds. The Councils contractors have been seen out spraying but they will have been hampered by wet weather.

As a result many back lanes, footpaths, snickets and cycle paths are now obstructed.

This can be a hazard particularly for the partially sighted.

Hopefully residents, who see an issue near their home or business, will deal with it themselves.

Weed growth and other issues can be reported 24/7 via the Council web site ” click “Report it”

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

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

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Hop And Glory Ltd 43 Front Street York YO24 3BR

Conditions 3 (extraction), 4 (machinery and equipment) and 5 (noise insulation) – 19/02075/FUL

Ref. No: AOD/20/00124 

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Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Conditions 14, 31 and 33 of 17/02428/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/20/00118 

Relates to discharging the following conditions.

Condition 14 (Bus stop improvements) financial contribution £70,000

Condition 33 (Education places) financial contribution of £438,182

Condition 31 (Football pitches) financial contribution of £300,000

NB. This is the money that is part funding the provision of football pitches near Bishopthorpe. Another contribution is coming from the developers. The location of the new pitches is nearly 3 miles from Lowfields. Work there has been ongoing for 6 months.

The controversial decision not to spend the funding in the local community nearer Lowfield was made by the City of York Council.

No progress on providing improved active leisure provision in the Westfield ward has been made.

——

7 Stuart Road York YO24 3AX

Conservatory to rear

Ref. No: 20/00279/FUL 

——

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning online web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

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

Action needed on verges and roads

The Council will be publishing its highways resurfacing programme for the next financial year shortly. There is now a major backlog of work in the area. It is not just potholes that need filling. Large areas of carriageway and several footpaths need patching or resurfacing.

The present Council promised to reconstruct all highways in the City, so it will be interesting to see the extent of next years programme.

School Street remains in poor condition.
Verge damage in Dijon Avenue

Problems with verge damage in the Dijon Avenue area have escalated since building work started on the Lowfield site

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

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Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Condition 24 of 17/02428/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/19/00414 

Relates to sewer adoption

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Acomb Bowling Club Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Conditions 10, 14, 16, 17 & 18 of 18/00586/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/19/00410 

Relates to access arrangements for refuse vehicles, landscaping (see plan), drainage, road construction and cycle parking.

Front Street Bowling Club land landscaping plan

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94 Askham Lane York YO24 3HP

Single and two storey side extension

Ref. No: 19/02550/FUL 

——-

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

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

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward. 

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference 

—-

7 Bachelor Hill York YO24 3BD

Single storey rear extension 

Ref. No: 19/02030/FUL 

——–

Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Non-material amendment to permitted application 17/02428/FULM – Alterations to bedrooms, house types, elevations, roof mounted PV, masterplan, FFL’s & boundary treatments 

Ref. No: 19/01856/NONMAT

This application contains a large number of details changes to the Lowfield plans. Some were submitted as long ago as August but have not been subject to local consultation. Many are minor in nature or will have little impact on the existing local community. Some are more far reaching including a proposal to remove the existing perimeter metal railings and replace with a wooden boarded fence.. Leaving aside the additional costs involved in such a proposal, the railings are valued by some neighbouring house owners as they offer good security. They also allow wild animals such as hedgehogs to move freely around the neighbourhood. We think that individual neighbours should have been consulted on these changes.

——

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

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

Tackle the potholes now

Winter will be with us soon now and with it the risk of icy weather. Frost damage, to a poorly maintained highway surface, can be devastating making expensive reconstruction work inevitable.

Residents are being urged to report any potholes so that they can receive attention. There is rightly some scepticism amongst residents with reported highway defects often marked up with paint but then seemingly left for months before work is undertaken

Click here to report issues on line

Defects on Dijon Avenue and Kingswood Grove have been reported on several occasions. We”ll see how long it takes for repairs to take place.

Damaged road surface on Kingswood Grove

More problems with hedges blockng footpaths

Pedestrians should take care when using the Tithe Close/Tedder Road snicket. A potentially hazardous thorn branch is overhang the path at eye height.
The Reeves snicket is also being obstructed. We’ve reported the increase in litter in the area.
Even more overgrown is the snicket link from Gale Lane to Bachelor Hill. More dumped rubbish also reported.
Although attractive, the roses on Dickson park also need trimming back from the footpath
Similar problems on Askham Lane
Potholes a problem for cyclists at the Dijon Avenue/Lowfield Drive junction
At the same location there is little evidence of weed treatment.