Local Plan inquiry dates set. Askham Bog appeal imminent

A planning appeal into the York Council’s refusal to allow a development near Askham Bog will start on 12th November.

Askham Bog in autumn

The potential developers (Barwood Land) refused to wait for the results of the public hearing into the York Local Plan (which protects the area near Moor Lane in Dringhouses from development). Instead they have pressed ahead with their planning application.

The Local Plan Inspectors are now preparing for the first stage of hearings, which will address legal compliance including the Duty to Co-operate, Housing Need and Green Belt. Provisional dates have been agreed with the Inspectors for these initial hearings to be held on selected days over a two week period, commencing on Monday 9 December 2019 at York Racecourse.

 The Inspectors will shortly be issuing the Council with their Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) which will be published on the examination library (link above) along with the Council’s response to these questions. The Inspectors will also produce a hearing timetable giving more detail on the hearing sessions including the schedule for each day.

 Representors (all those who commented on the Plan during the Regulation 19 Publication consultation and the Proposed Modifications Consultation) will be given the required formal notice (6 weeks) when the dates and venue have been finalised.

We will also update the examination library with these dates and will issue a press release with details of the dates and venue and where to find more information.

Missed bin collections Wednesday

Recycling was not collected in part of Dringhouses today (“vehicle capacity issue”) and garden waste wasn’t collected from Muncaster (“vehicle breakdown”).

The Council also hasn’t caught up with delayed bin emptying from earlier in the week in Osbaldwick and Woodthorpe

It appears that the Council hasn’t yet placed an order for new vehicles to replace its chronically unreliable existing fleet.

According to a notice published today, a decision on a new “waste collection methodology” won’t be taken until 24th October. Even then it is likely to be several months before the Council actually joins the year long queue for new vehicles.

While refinements to waste management arrangements are needed if we are to recycle more, a greater sense of urgency from the Council leadership, in addressing current unreliability issues, is an essential first step.

Missed bin collections a problem again this week

After catching up with the backlog of full bins on Saturday, vehicle failures meant that garden waste collections were missed in Dringhouses, Woodthorpe, Wheldrake and Copmanthorpe yesterday (Monday). The Council has promised to try to empty the bins today.

The Council web site also reports isolated cases of roads being missed because of poor parking and road works

There is still no word from the Council on when new, more reliable, vehicles will be rolled out.

Latest on missed bin collections

More streets in York have not had their refuse, recycling and garden waste collected today.

Areas affected included Dringhouses (Middlethorpe), Bishopthorpe, Acomb, Chapelfields, Tang Hall and Lockwood Street

Some residents have called for the service to be “outsourced” (privatised).

Until the Council is more candid about the causes of its current problems, then it is difficult to know whether different management arrangements would lead to a more reliable service.

Nine payphone kiosks to be removed

List of payphones in York which may be removed

BT has applied to remove 9 payphone kiosk from streets in York.

The Copmanthorpe, Strensal, Dringhouses and Westfield areas are affected

None of the iconic “red” K6 kiosks are on the list although there has been criticism recently about the state of repair of some of them. Several of these are “Listed” buildings.

Iconic K6 kiosks are not affected by the current removal plans. Several are in need of refurbishment

Some of the kiosk listed have been a magnet for drug users, vandalism and anti social behaviour. Their removal is likely to be supported by neighbouring residents.

The use of public payphones has dropped to near zero over the years as mobile phone ownership has increased

So who will win the York Council elections?

Dringhouses and Fishergate wards reviewed

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

The Dringhouses ward  is home to 11,639 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 80% of residents own their home. There are 360 Council homes in the area 1.6% are out of work. Crime levels are below average.  86.5% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 40% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source


The Dringhouses Ward has traditionally been a LibDem stronghold. The only break in their domination came in 2011 when Labour took two of the seats.  Normal service was resumed in 2015 when the LibDems scored a clean sweep with a substantial swing.  Ann Reid, who retires this year, secured record breaking support, for a local election, when polling 3104 votes.

The poll is remarkable this year as 7 of the 14 candidates declined to give their address on their nomination forms. One has subsequently confirmed that he lives in the ward. However that means that there are only 3 candidates who have confirm a local home. A rare UKIP candidate makes an appearance and another disillusioned Tory is seeking election as an Independent. .

Development of green spaces is a major issue in the ward and already the Labour candidates seem to have blundered by highlighting the threat to Askham Bog. It was the last Labour controlled Council who, in 2013, first included Moor Lane in their “Big City” Local Plan development proposals. Fortunately that threat has now receded as a revised Local Plan which preserves the Green Belt has been agreed  by the coalition.

With Tory support haemorrhaging, it is difficult to see any other result than another LibDem clean sweep in in this ward.


3 LibDem seats


The Fishergate ward  is home to 10,123 residents.  Average incomes are lower than the City average. 48% of residents own their home. 39% are private renters and 10% are social tenants. There are 148 Council homes in the area.  2.3% are out of work. Crime levels are slightly above average.  94.7% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 35% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source


Fishergate is now the Green Party’s York stronghold They have held the seats there for over 16 years.

The Tories did poll well in the area 25 years ago but have been in decline in the ward  in recent years, reaching the point in 2011 where they didn’t even put forward any candidates.

Labour support has been stable but well behind the Greens

There are a lot of young student voters in the ward as highlighted by the high proportion of privately rented property.

The Green Councillors have struggled not to become part of the political establishment but recently they took the City’s Lord Mayoralty for the first time and have led campaigns to have ResPark charges reduced! 

Labour have nominated a retiring Councillor, and recent Lord Mayor (Barbara Boyce), as a candidate albeit one who represented the Heworth Ward . She and the other non Green candidates look set to be “also ran’s”.


2 Green seats

Latest planning applications for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference


27 Ashbourne Way York YO24 2SW

Erection of single storey extension extending 4.94 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.55 metres and a total height of 3.86 metres

Reference           17/01583/LHE


24 Hob Moor Terrace York YO24 1EY

Single storey side and rear extensions and installation of vertical photovoltaic panels to side gable wall of existing dwelling

Ref. No: 17/01529/FUL 


86 Ryecroft Avenue York YO24 2SD

Application to remove 4 x Sycamore saplings subject to a Tree Preservation Ordern no. 10-W1

Ref. No: 17/01647/TPO 


 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/

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

Three more homes for Mayfield Grove?

The planning committee is being recommended to approve the construction of 3 homes on a site in Mayfield Grove. A similar application earlier in the year was deferred pending receipt of a bat study.

That study has now been provided.

If approved at a meeting taking place on 6th July, the houses would replace an existing bungalow located towards the front of the site with its main garden to the rear.

There would be a semi-detached pair of 4 bedroom dwellings at the front of the site on the footprint of the existing bungalow and a single detached 2 bedroom bungalow to the rear.

Vehicle access would be from Mayfield Grove, via newly created parking areas and private driveway to the rear property.

The local planning panel had criticised the plans saying that they represent an over development of the area.

Plans for new development on Tadcaster Road by Wilberforce Homes

Local residents are invited to attend a drop-in session to have their say on proposals by the Wilberforce Trust to build 30 flats for its tenants on land it owns to the north of The Grove, off Tadcaster Road.

The proposals, which include a social/community hub for tenants and offices for the charity, will be on display at the Sunflower Centre at St Leonard’s Hospice on Thursday 6th July from 4.30pm to 8pm. A Wilberforce Trust leaflet (copied below) is being delivered to local homes to publicise the drop-in session.

The Wilberforce Trust is a York-based charity that provides specialist housing and support for people with visual impairments, sensory impairments and other disabilities. Its website can be viewed at www.wilberforcetrust.org.uk

In the most recent draft Local Plan, this piece of land had been provisionally allocated for residential extra care facilities in association with the Wilberforce Trust.

Young people make hairdressing salon a cut above

Older people haircutThe tenants of Honeysuckle House, a City of York Council Sheltered Accommodation Scheme in Dringhouses, will soon be able to enjoy getting their hair done in style as the Enable scheme is undertaking a makeover of the on-site hairdressing salon.

Enable is a collaboration between the council’s 60+ Housing Specialist Service and SASH, a supported lodging scheme for young people who have experienced homelessness. It brings together young people who would like to give something back to their communities and older people who may need a hand with gardening and decorating.

The hairdressing salon at the Sheltered Accommodation Scheme is an important resource, much loved and used regularly by the tenants. Honeysuckle House approached the Enable scheme as the facility is starting to look tired and would benefit from a spruce up and this week four 4 young people, supported by staff, will be wallpapering, painting, gardening and generally sprucing the place up!

Enable has now been running for nearly 2 years and has carried out numerous community projects to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of older people in York. The young people get a taste of volunteering whilst learning skills they will need when they move into their own homes in the future.