Bats and hedgehogs at risk through Council developments

The Council has now published on their web site the comments of their Ecology and Countryside officer on the plan to extend Lincoln Court.

Comments of Council ecology officer March 2019

Contractors are currently ripping out the hedge on the school boundary of the site.

The officer states that a replacement hedge must be provided as part of any redevelopment.

There are also concerns about the displacement of bats.

One item, relating to the movement of small mammals like hedgehogs,  will be of particular interest to local residents who are concerned not just about this proposal but also the plans for the nearby Lowfields site.

There a developer (Yorspace) is planning to replace the existing railings with a close boarded fence. Effectively such fences hinder the free movement of hedgehogs

The Ecology officer hasn’t commented on the Lowfield proposal although the wildlife issue has been highlighted by the Lowfields Action Group as part of their objection.

 

Hedges ripped out near Lincoln Court

Hedges are being ripped out by contractors in preparation for the start of building works at Windsor House and Lincoln Court.

The new disabled centre, which will replace Windsor House, does have planning permission. It is understandable that developers Sewells will want to remove the hedges before the bird nesting season starts.

Work to the rear of Lincoln Court is more controversial. A planning permission granted in December was found to be flawed. This forced the Council, to submit a new application which has yet to be determined. It has attracted a lot of objections including a significant one from Sport England.

It is therefore premature to undertake work in that area.

Copies of the Lincoln Court planning application together with details of objections can be found by clicking here 

Contractors removing hedge from school playing field boundary

Hedge to side of Windsor House has already been removed

Weeds on some lanes now at head height in York

 

Beaconsfield Street back lane weed now 6 foot tall. No treatment this year by Council

Severus Street

School Street

Milner Street back lane

Hedge on Foxwood Lane obstructing public footpath

Sevral snickets are overgorwn with weeds

Some good news with the weeds which disfigured the offices on the Front Street link road having been cleared of weeds.

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High growth of weeds and hedges but damaged verges still stubbornly bare!

The expectation was that the reinstatement of verges in the City following the UFO broadband works would have seen grass growing back by now. Recent rain has provided ideal growing conditions but there is little sign of life so far!

Dust bowl verges on Gale Lane. Still no grass

Tithe Close snicket has been cleared of litter and graffiti

Litter a problems on several snickets at present like this one on The Reeves.

More hedges blocking public footpaths

Hedge stops passengers waiting at Askham Lane bus stop from seeing approaching buses

Nettles another threat for bus passengers. No sign of the Council treating weeds so far this summer

Trolley area on Acomb car park needs a good clean up

Good progress as hedges cut and potholes filled

The Council has finally got round to removing the self seeded bushes which blocked sight lines from the bus shelter on Askham Lane. The bushes had grown to the point where the footpath was being impeded in summer. Now the original hedge around the field should be able to reassert itself.

Before

After

Following work by Cllrs Sheena Jackson (pictured) and Andrew Waller several potholes on Foxwood Lane were filled in by workmen this morning.

Sheena with the potholes that she reported

Workmen filling in potholes today

Taking action in the Foxwood area

We’ve been out and about in the Foxwood area. We’ve found some issues which we’ve reported for attention.

Some problems – like nettles overgrowing the footpath on Bellhouse Way (from a private garden) – reoccur every year.

Damaged verges in Wenham Road need bitmacing. Not much sign of proactive management this part of the Rowntrees estate

Damaged verges in Wenham Road need bitmacing. Not much sign of proactive management or investment in this part of the Rowntrees estate unfortunately

There has been a deterioration the appearance of the Rowntree estate (Wenham Road/Teal Drive) over the last few months. One problem is lack of garden maintenance – a return to the issues of 3 years ago . Some properties facing the Foxwood Park are virtually inaccessible because of overgrown hedges. Many verges are damaged and really need to be bitmaced. We hope that the residents association and Councillors will intervene to get an improvement.

Weed growth in the Stirrup Close area suggests that treatment has not been successful again this year

Weed growth in the Stirrup Close area suggests that the Councils treatment programme has not been successful again this year

Alot of detritus on the Bellhouse Way footpath between Acomb Wood Drive and Bellwood Drive. The path also needs resurfacing

A lot of detritus on the Bellhouse Way footpath between Acomb Wood Drive and Bellwood Drive. The path also needs resurfacing

Osprey Close Acomb Wood Drive overgrown hedge 27th June 2016

Hedge on Osprey Close needs trimming back from the public footpath

Hedge on Houndsway amenity area still hasn't been trimmed by the Council. It was reprted last November. Strangely the hedge on the other side of the area has been cut!

Hedge on Houndsway amenity area still hasn’t been trimmed by the Council. It was reported last November. Strangely the hedge on the other side of the area has been cut!

Hedges still blocking footpaths

Continuing problems, with hedges blocking public footpaths, were raised by Andrew Waller at a recent Council meeting.

He asked how many reports the Council receives each year about footpaths being blocked and how long it takes to remedy problems.

Askham Lane hedge overgrown for four months

Askham Lane hedge overgrown for four months

Oldman Court path blocked since september

Oldman Court path blocked since September

He was told that “Council officers don’t currently keep records of the numbers of vegetation complaints and how they are progressing.

The estimated numbers are in the region of 500 to 600 per year mainly concentrated during the summer months.

When a complaint is made, if the address is given a letter is sent out asking the owner to rectify the situation. If the address is vague a site visit will normally be made next time someone is in the area and then a letter sent.

If no further complaints are made it is assumed that the problem has been put right. If a further complaint is made then a second letter is sent with a more formal instruction to put the situation right otherwise we (CYC) may carry out the works and recharge the costs to the owner. If there is no improvement then an instruction to cut the vegetation is issued and the cost recharged”.

We remain concerned that effective action hasn’t been taken to cut back hedges like the one adjacent to the field on Askham lane 9this has been trimmed on the road side by the Council in the past).

We are considering referring long outstanding problems for the attention of the Local Government Ombudsman

Weeds florish as hedges block footpaths

The weather is only partly responsible for problems with weed growth, hedges blocking footpaths and excessive verge cuttings

Grass cut by Council contractors but hedge left

Grass cut by Council contractors but hedge left

The Council was very late in awarding its maintenance contractor for elderly and disabled tenants this year and the contractors have found it impossible to catch up.

Drains blocked by weds and detritus

Drains blocked by weeds and detritus

The Councils Highways Inspectors seem to have been less effective this year in chasing up residents who allow their hedges or trees to block public footpaths.

Weeds growing everywhere in Acomb

Weeds growing everywhere in Acomb

But perhaps the biggest eyesore is weed growth. In parts of Acomb nettles and thistles are now over a foot high and are clearly damaging footpaths and roads.

Overgorn hedges blocking street signs

Overgrown hedges blocking street signs

We understand that a contract has just been awarded by the Council for the application of weed killer but it is likely to be at least a couple of weeks before all areas are treated (and longer again before the weeds die away)

Overgrown hedges blocking footpaths

Overgrown hedges blocking footpaths