Night-time closure of Foxwood Lane (north) and part Askham Lane from tomorrow

We understand that the Foxwood Lane/Askham Lane roundabout will be closed for roadworks from 7:30pm to 5:00am on Nov 9th-11th. This includes the section of Foxwood Lane up to Otterwood Lane.

The Number 4 bus route will be diverted

No notice has been given to the residents association or neighbours of these plans

A Council reports says,

“City of York Council will be carrying out road maintenance works at Askham Lane commencing on 9th November 2020 for a period of 3 nights (weather permitting). The works will be carried out between 7.30pm – 5.00am

To carry out the work safely, the use of a full road closure on Askham Lane and Foxwood Lane will be necessary.

This is to ensure that adequate health and safety is maintained for both local residents, the travelling public and the contractor. Site staff will be on hand to advise and assist residents about any access restrictions once the works are ongoing.

The contractor will be operating under social distancing guidance wherever possible due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, and has permission from the local authority to undertake this essential work at this time. Your co-operation throughout the duration of the works will be much appreciated.

All on-street parking will be suspended during the hours of the works for the full duration, but specific access requirements can be arranged by speaking to the site Traffic Management Operatives, who will coordinate with residents (and business requirements) around the ongoing work operations.

Bus Service 4 will be diverted straight along Gale Lane, not serving stops on Foxwood Lane, Askham Lane or Cornlands Rd.

Emergency services will be permitted through the works in any situation. However, please note that cyclists will be required to dismount and push their bikes along the footways.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience to the public. However, the contractor will at all times try to keep any disruption to a minimum”.

Improve playground plea

Local Councillors are claiming credit for a programme which has seen some of the pieces of play equipment in the Foxwood Lane playground painted. Some new “busy bee” rides have also been installed.

This is welcome news.

However there is still work needed on the surface of the park.

The entrance to the kiddies area is subject to ponding and is virtually inaccessible after rain. All that is needed is some hard core putting down.

Nearby the safety surface under one of the swings, aimed at older children, is badly worn and is also subject to flooding.

We hope that both of these issues can be remedied quickly

New “busy bee” play units
The access to the park needs to be repaired
Area under swing needs upgrading

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


61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Conditions 3, 14, 15 & 16 of 20/00494/FULM

Ref. No: AOD/20/00231 


9 Branton Place York YO26 5BQ

Erection of single storey extension extending 6.00 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.40 metres and a total height of 3.40 metres

Ref. No: 20/01647/LHE 


119 Foxwood Lane York YO24 3LQ

Single and two storey side extension, porch to front, single storey rear extension

Ref. No: 20/01617/FUL 


6 The Green Acomb York YO26 5LR

Replacement roof to single storey rear projection, raising of roof to garage to create annex

Ref. No: 20/01553/FUL 


29 Bradley Drive York YO24 3NX

Two storey rear extension

Ref. No: 20/01565/FUL 


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

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

Homeless problems – still too many long term empty Council houses in York

The was some surprise a few days ago when a scheduled report on homeless problems in the City was pulled.

The Council failed to explain why the report was abandoned and it remains unclear what the report contained.

It may be that the Council is embarrassed by the seeming increase in the number of empty homes that it owns.

Two on Foxwood Lane have been empty for over 6 months (i.e. from before the pandemic caused delays) . Both properties are bungalows which are always popular with “downsizers”, so finding new tenants shouldn’t have been a problem.

On the basis of the last published stats, there were 22 homeless households with dependent children in living in temporary accommodation in York.

According to the Councils own figures, the average number of days to re-let empty properties has risen from 27 days to 37 days during the last couple of years.

There are 1597 people registered on the York housing waiting list.

Acomb Moor update

The local residents association have added their weight to calls for access to Acomb Moor to be made safer.

Access to Acomb Moor still blocked

They have written to local Councillors making the following points.

  1. The tree trunk blocking the access needs to be moved by about 1 foot to allow pedestrian access. We understand that Andrew has this in hand. If the field tenants won’t do it then 2 or 3 fit people should be able to roll the log. The stile then needs to be reinstated
  2. The route across the field could then be re-established. Pragmatically a line down the side of the field – parallel to Foxwood Lane – could be established to link with the desire line path which is now clearly marked at the bottom of the field. (It will be for the owners to apply for a formal PROW diversion order if they wish to discourage people for walking through, what will presumably by the spring be, a cropped field). Obviously the current practice of people climbing over a 1.5 metre high metal gate is potentially hazardous and precludes some less ambient residents (who ironically are perhaps those most needing access to informal walking options) from using the paths.
  3. The stile at the bottom corner needs to be repaired and hardcore put on the approaches.
  4. Neither of the access points to the Council owned section of the path near Osprey Close have had the promised hardcore put down. Both these paths are narrow and on a gradient, They will become increasingly slippery in poor winter weather. So some action needs to be taken now.
  5. Further along the path near and in Acomb Wood there are sections which are subject to flooding and which would also benefit from having hardcore put down.
Stile needs repairs and hardcore underneath
Access points from Osprey Close are hazardous in wet weather.

Foxwood Lane to Osprey Close footpath application gains Council support

According to the Foxwood Residents Association Facebook page the Council has approved the making of an order which should – eventually – see the footpath added to local maps.

Acomb Moor public right of way – decision

Our application to have the route from Foxwood Lane to Osprey Close – across Acomb Moor – recognised has passed another hurdle.

We understand that at a private meeting held on Tuesday Council officials decided to make a definitive map modification order (DMMO). The order should be made and published within the next few months. This would mean that the Public Right of Way route would be added to footpath maps.

The meeting was held behind closed doors and no agenda was published. This meant that interested parties were not able to make (further) representations. We understand that the background  papers may not be published on the Councils website until next week.

We understand that initial consultation and review of the available evidence was completed and it was apparent that there is sufficient evidence to “reasonably allege that a public right of way subsists over the application route”. Under these circumstances the Council is required to make a DMMO by section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

There will be a period of time during which objections to the designation can be made. If any objections are not subsequently withdrawn then the matter is referred to the Secretary of State for determination. This sometimes results in a Public Inquiry.

Footpath line before the field was ploughed

So it could be several months before the issue is entirely resolved.

In the meantime we have asked the Council to take steps to ensure that public access to the path is available for the point on Foxwood Lane where the stile used to be located (currently blocked by a tree trunk).

NB. We hope that the promised extension of the York Strays will include at least part of Acomb Moor. It is already used as an informal “country park”, is an important leisure area  for the neighbourhood, it falls within the Green Belt and is on the most accessible side of the A1237.  There is considerable scope for promoting conservation of flora and fauna in the area not least through re-establishing hedgerows where they have disappeared”.

More farming on Acomb Moor

The field at the top of Foxwood Lane which was ploughed a couple of weeks ago has now been levelled.

There is a narrow footpath being worn around the outside of the field but there is still no safe access.

We hope that any outstanding issues are resolved following a Council decision meeting which is taking place on Tuesday.

Better facilities for walkers needed

The latest Council funding bid offers little hope for those wanting to do more walking in the wake of the health crisis. Many had, during the lockdown, made a start by making more use of local Public Rights of Ways.

These include the network of paths which link Acomb Moor to Acomb Wood. Nearby the rural section of Askham Lane was also well used as was the Westfield/Grange Lane Park links.

None of these has received any funding for improvements to access gates, signage or even by putting hard core down on sections liable to flooding. A few hundred pounds invested in paths located in the suburbs would make a lot of difference. A £500,000 budget, intended for walking and cycling improvements, has already been allocated mainly to cycling projects near the City centre.

One claim for a Public Right of Way could apparently take a step forward next week. The Foxwood residents association has been told that the path across the moor (the field which has recently been ploughed) will be considered at a decision meeting taking place on Tuesday. The association applied for heh PROW order on te path as long ago as December 2018

Unfortunately no agenda or report for any such meetings has been published on the Councils web site. This suggests that any discussion will be at one of the Councils, now infamous, “behind closed doors” meetings.

We hope not.

We also expect the Council get a move on and re-establish a safe access onto the moor from Foxwood Lane.

The environment and informal leisure

The government has launched a welcome initiative this week aimed at encouraging more active lifestyles. There has been a lot of support for cycling as a way of keeping fit and losing weight. That is very welcome and we hope that it soon translates into a Council initiative aimed at improving maintenance standards on off road cycle paths, many of which are in poor condition in York.

Less attention has been paid to leisure walking – an option open to virtually everyone.

There has been renewed interest in the use of local Public Rights of Way (PROW) as residents sought to follow daily – social distance – exercising guidelines. The route across Acomb Moor to Acomb Wood became more popular. A local bulletin board has seen several people criticise the farmer who blocked off all entrances to the moor before ploughing it.

Access to Acomb Moor blocked

While the owner is entitled to cultivate his land, he should not have blocked the Foxwood Lane access at least while the current PROW application is being actively considered. We have asked the public rights of way officer to intervene.

More needs to be done to enhance and improve access to the natural environment at least on the west of the City.

The Councils own annual survey of opinion revealed that  44% of panellists thought that the Council was not doing well at improving green spaces.

59% thought that the Council wasn’t doing well at reducing air pollution.

The Council planted 515 trees last year. It had previously claimed that it would plant “50,000 trees by 2023”. It had also promised to expand the City’s strays and introduce more wildflower meadows in an attempt to encourage pollinators.

We understand that a report will be considered by the Council in August which will  set out proposals to acquire land which will enable the creation of a “large new area of woodland in close proximity to the city to provide green amenity space for residents and plant trees that will contribute to the council’s commitment to become net carbon neutral by 2030”.

There has to be balance. The country does need to be more self sufficient in food production, so the retention of good quality agricultural land is also important.

However, the creation of a country park on land near Askham Lane would be a welcome step forward. It has been a vision for several years. It would allow hedgerows to be re-established and PROWs to be maintained in good condition.

It would also provide some compensation for the sports and leisure land lost through recent developments in the area.

 It only now remains to be seen whether Councillors have the drive and determination to deliver on their promises.Tree Walking GIF - Tree Walking Tired - Discover & Share GIFs

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


Address       21 Foxwood Lane York YO24 3LH

Proposal      Fell 1no. Ash tree protected by Tree Preservation Order no. 3

Reference   20/01258/TPO


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

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