An archaeology report, produced as part of the investigations into the bowling club development project on Front Street, has provided a further insight into the history of the village.
The report says that, “in February 2005 On-Site Archaeology carried out an archaeological evaluation on the disused allotments located immediately to the west of the current site. Within one of the evaluation trenches two small pits containing late 1st to mid 3rd century Roman pottery were recorded, cutting into the natural sand. A residual sherd of late 1st to early 2nd century pottery was recovered from a subsoil deposit in one of the other trenches”
allotments land has now been bulldozed to form a building compound. No
mitigation measures have been taken to preserve or record any archaeological remains
on that site (which is owned by the York Council).
The report goes on to say, “There is no evidence of
occupation during the Anglo-Saxon period although the name ‘Acomb’ is
Anglo-Saxon in origin meaning “at the oaks”.
“The mediaeval period is when the village of Acomb took on a known form with the focus of the village being the area between The Green and Front Street. Acomb is listed in the Domesday survey of 1086 as a manor with 14 rent-payers. The Church of St. Stephen is an 1830 construction replacing an earlier 12th century church with possible pre-Conquest origins. Archaeological work has taken place behind 12-26 The Green, which produced evidence for mediaeval domestic activity and possible ploughsoil relating to medieval crofts or garden plots An evaluation carried out by OSA in March 2007 to the rear of 95 Front Street revealed late medieval boundary ditches containing pottery dated to the 15th and 16th centuries”.
Weed growth is becoming a significant problem in many streets in York. None more than in the Front Street shopping area. This is a shame as it would take little effort to tackle the issue. It would be within the capabilities of volunteers.
The neglect brings into question the sincerity of the Council who claim to want to reinvigorate retail areas.
We’ve also reported fly posting on the nearby noticeboard.
As reported earlier in the week, residents living next to the Library in Acomb were dismayed to find that demolition contractors had taken over the adjacent Council owned land. The trespass apparently formed part of the plan to build on the bowling club
Several days later and things are even worse.
A 4 metre high mound of spoil has now appeared. It is only feet from the gardens of nearby homes
The Council appears to have done nothing other than send an environmental protection officer to the site to make an inspection.
The Council has remained tight lipped about whether they have granted permission for the work and whether the actions of the contractor breach planning regulations.
Works have started on the demolition of the bowling green buildings on Front Street. Planning permission was granted last year which allows developers to build 10 houses there.
The proposals were highly controversial as they ruled out a coordinated development which would have secured the future of the Council owned land (former allotments) to the rear of the library car park as well as the open aspect at the back of Chancery Court. A holistic approach was favoured by those residents who completed anopinion survey.
The planning committee inexplicably agreed a Section 106 contribution to the provision of alternative sports/green space facilities but at a site located in the Holgate area.
Now local residents are complaining about the noise and disturbance being caused by the contractors. It has been suggested that the contractors are trespassing on the Council owned land, which itself has a nature conservation role.
Residents have called on local Councillors to take action to ensure that the contractors respect the amenity of neighbouring properties
The future of the former allotments site needs to be clarified quickly by the Council which has owned it for over 10 years.
It was slated to be an extension to the library incorporating a “pocket park” to retain a green aspect for the benefit of the Front Street area.
However no progress has been made on that project.
As we’ve pointed out over the last few days, many of our public open spaces are looking clean and tidy at the moment.
In west York parks and amenity areas provide an attractive informal opportunity for leisure although in the Westfield ward several are under threat of development.
But there are several areas where litter and fly tipping are a problem. In some cases, items dumped many months ago still haven’t been removed by the Council.
Time for some action we think.
Fortunately, there is an active residents association in the Foxwood area and they have promised to support a month of action in their neighbourhood.
Elsewhere in the Westfield ward residents are currently less well organised so some proactive management is required.
Actions speak louder than words
Shortly there will be local elections in the area. Some candidates are already delivering literature. Both Labour and the LibDems have been seen on the streets this weekend.
The Tories have resorted to employing a contractor to deliver their leaflets They candidly admit that they don’t actually have any candidates, with only a few weeks to go before nominations close.
But no matter. If the candidates or all parties want to impress why don’t they individually organise a “spring clean” in a problem area? This might help to make a favourable impression on voters as well as enhancing the local environment?
The Keep Britain Tidy organisation coordinates an annual Great British Spring Cleancampaign. This year the campaign will run between 22nd March – 23rd April 2019 and will focus on removing single use plastics from our open spaces.
Papers released by the Councilthis week suggest that a major upgrade to the Acomb Explore Library will be completed by 2022. £4 million has been set aside for works at the Acomb and Clifton Libraries in the Councils budget.
The news will be welcomed in Acomb. It is 10 years since land was acquired to the rear of the library which was intended to accommodate an extension. The hope was then that the building would become a “one stop shop” for public services. It would have partly replaced the neighbourhood “Acomb Office” which Labour closed in 2013. There was hope that policing and health activities might relocate to the site.
The Council says, that the priority is “for investment in Acomb, to build on the great success of that Explore Centre, and in Clifton to transform the quality of service in that area. Individual business cases will be brought forward during 19/20 demonstrating how the investment will contribute to delivering service transformation and driving the generation of additional income streams”
The announcement comes amid rising tensions over the future of the libraries contract. The Council invited tenders last year for continuation of the service – which is currently provided via a social enterprise organisation.
There has been no official confirmation that the existing provider has been allocated the new contract which is due to start on 1st April 2019.
The Council also last year agreed a planning application which will see houses built on the adjacent bowling green site. Objectors at the time stressed the need for a holistic solution to the redevelopment of all the vacant plots in the area.
Recycling pont in Acomb Car park still needs a “makeover”
Last June, the Council announceda £100,000 boost for the Front Street area.
The mood in the shopping area had been more buoyant as several additional independent shops announced plans to open while more upper floors were to be brought back into use as residential accommodation.
Part of the Council budget was to be spent on bolstering existing activities with the aim of increasing “footfall”. These include additional grants to the ADAM arts festival and an improved Acomb Alive Christmas lights display.
Additional planters were planned for Front Street as were better signposts (wayfinding)
The “Friends of Acomb Green” were allocated £5000 for “recycling area improvements” in the car park although it was unclear precisely what this would involve.
Nothing more was heard about this project with the bins still badly needing at least a coat of paint.
More worrying is the lack of progress in getting the whole of the precinct levelled and paved. This was the top priority identified by residents following a door to door survey.
Consultants were to have been appointed to produce an economic masterplan for the area.
They were expected to report in December 2018.
There is no sign of any report nor is its publication included in the Councils forward programme of decisions.
North Yorkshire Police is appealing for witnesses and information surrounding a robbery in Acomb at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday 23 December.
The incident happened in Farm Foods on Front Street when a man entered the store, stood in line at the till before producing a knife and grabbing an amount of cash from the till.
As he tried to leave the store he was tackled to the ground by a customer before running out of the store. He climbed on his bike and cycled at speed past Domino’s Pizza.
The customer received a hand injury in the tackle.
The offender is described as a White man, aged 30 to 35 years-old amd stocky build. He was wearing a knee length jacket covering over his face.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Press option 1 and pass information to the Force Control Room.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please quote reference number 12180014807 when passing on information about the incident.