Two years prison for developer who defrauded £50,000 from flood victims on Huntington Road

A property developer who fraudulently took almost £50,000 from victims of the 2015 floods has been sentenced to 24 months imprisonment at York Crown Court yesterday (7 August 2018).

Owen Danter, aged 40 of 78 Munstead Way, Welton Brough, East Yorkshire, was the sole director of OTD Development Ltd before he voluntarily liquidated the company on 20 April 2017.

He was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment in relation to the 12 charges of Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading for which he had previously pleaded guilty on 19 June 2018.

The charges related to building work by the defendants at two neighbouring addresses on Huntington Road, which both suffered extensive flooding in December 2015.

Both properties had to be vacated by the owners due to the extent of the flood damage.

In June 2016, Mr Danter was employed to carry out the required repairs at both addresses, and by agreement, some additional building work.

At both properties goods were paid for but not supplied. At one property Mr Danter issued nine invoices with a total value of £35,063.82 and to the other he issued four invoices with a total value of £14,483.

On four occasions Mr Danter requested payment be made into a different bank account, because he claimed, hiis bank account had been hacked. He provided alternative bank account details which were his mother’s. The bank confirmed there was no such hacking incident.

By late February 2017, the work was not finished, despite completion dates of November 2016 and December 2016 being previously given, leaving both properties uninhabitable.

In December 2016, Mr Danter disappeared for several days, claiming to have suffered exhaustion and a breakdown, but returned to work.

In February 2017, Mr Danter left the addresses for good, claiming he had suffered a complete breakdown. Between June 2016 and February 2017 both consumers were invoiced and paid for goods and services which did not materialise.

When Mr Danter was challenged about it he gave a variety of reasons – that the articles had been ordered, or that the articles had been paid for or that the articles had been delivered and were in his storage facility.

At interview with Trading Standards officers, Mr Danter admitted his management of the company was poor and that he had taken on too much work and had been involved with four other neighbouring properties. He also explained he had been suffering from depression and was dependent on medication.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Deliberately taking people’s money and not carrying out the work would have a significant impact on most people. But to knowingly inflict that on residents who were in a vulnerable situation following the 2015 floods is far worse. This prosecution shows that we will do our utmost to protect residents from unscrupulous traders.

“Anyone wanting to report poor quality work or unfair trading practices should call the Consumer Helpline on 0345 4040 506.”

HHJudge Hickey told the court: “The deception period was 28 August 2016 to 10 February 2017. The victim personal statements and photos of dilapidation make sober viewing.”

Moor Lane, Dringhouses set to be closed for resurfacing works from next Tuesday

Essential resurfacing set to take place across York

RoadworksThe council will be carrying out essential resurfacing on several roads in York, including Huntington Road, Campleshon Road, Bad Bargain Lane, Moor Lane, Low Green and Fulfordgate from 24 October.

Work is set to take place on:

  • ·Moor Lane from 25 October for two days with work taking place from 9.15am – 4pm. A temporary road closure from the junction of A1237 Ring Road to the junction of Cairnborrow will be necessary whilst works are taking place.
  • Huntington Road from 24 October for five days with work taking place from 9.15am-4pm. A temporary road closure from the junction of Link Road to the junction of Brockfields Road will be necessary whilst works are taking place.
  • · Campleshon Road from 24 October for one day with work taking place from 9.15am till 11pm. A temporary road closure will be in place during working hours. A signed diversion route will be in place for motorists during this time.
  • · Bad Bargain Lane from 25 October for two days with work taking place from 9.15am-5pm Monday to Friday. A temporary road closure from the junction of Burnholme Drive to the junction of Meadlands will be necessary whilst works are taking place.
  • · · Low Green, Copmanthorpe from 27 October for two days with work taking place from 8am – 5pm. A temporary road closure will be in place during working hours. Throughout the works the cycle lane/footpath between Merchant Way and Low Green will be open to vehicle traffic. This will be managed using two way lights and safety signs to ensure the safety of all road users.
  • · Fulfordgate on 27 October for one day with work taking place from 8am-5pm. A temporary road closure of Fulfordgate will be in place during working hours. Residents are advised there will be no access or egress for vehicles during working hours except in emergencies.

As with any construction work, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption. Residents are assured that everything reasonably possible will be done to keep this to a minimum, however motorists should expect some delays and plan their journey accordingly.

The contractor carrying out the work will be responsible for safety and providing pedestrian access at all times.

York Floods: Statement needed to reassure residents

The York Council would be right to take a few weeks to pull together a report on the recent flooding issues in the City.

It should not take the two years that the post 2012 floods report took to compile.

click to donate

click to donate

But there is an urgent need to reassure residents about precisely what went wrong with the Foss barrier last weekend.

At the time the authorities claimed that the barrier was raised (prompting a 2 foot increase in the level of the Foss and the flooding of the Huntington Road area and telephone exchange)  because there were fears that water would damage the lifting equipment or the power supply.

In the cold light of day this seems an unlikely explanation, not least because the system had reserve generators which could be brought on line or, failing that, a manual lifting system.

We know that water from the Ouse was approaching the Foss from the Tower Street area (but it never actually over-topped the barriers).

So the issue presumably was an unprecedented run off into the Foss catchment area?

Tang Hall beck certainly did experience record levels.

  • Could the Foss barrier pumps not cope?
  • Were they all working to maximum capacity?
  • Why was the pumping station evacuated? (a new bridge to it was later provided by Army engineers)
The questions need to be answered quickly and publicly by the Environment Agency.

It isn’t a question of apportioning blame.

It is a matter of reassuring hundreds of residents and business owners that the cause of the problem is understood and, should another similar event occur this winter, that contingency plans have been upgraded.

After all we are now in a vulnerable position.
The ground is saturated guaranteeing that any rainfall will run off quickly into ditches and rivers..
Many previous floods have been caused by a combination of melting snow and localised rainfall.
Add in the already wet ground and the conditions for a “perfect storm” may already exist.

Local MPs and the Environment Agency must reassure residents without delay

 

Council back down on plan for Huntington Road parking restrictions

Residents have forced the Council to withdraw part of  its plans to introduce parking restrictions adjacent to 191 – 215 Huntington Road.

Huntington Road zebra crossing

The restrictions were intended to improve visibility for users of the nearby zebra crossing.

However residents have pointed out that the local shop and Post Office are shortly to be relocated further down the road and therefore that the pedestrian crossing should also be moved.

Details can be found by clicking here

 

Alley closed, parking restrictions, ResPark etc – Summary of recent Council decisions

Click heading for more details

Nunmill Street Bishopthorpe Road

Introduction of alley gate

—————

Osbaldwick Lane (school  entrance)

Enforcement action on parking on zig zag lines

————–

Malton Avenue and Irwin Avenue

Proposal to introduce a Residents Parking Scheme

————

Newborough Street

Introduction of no waiting at any time restrictions on Newborough Street associated with the Burton Green Development.

————-

Nunthorpe Drive, Nunthorpe Crescent, Nunthorpe Gardens and Nunthorpe View

Introduction of a Resident Parking scheme

—————

Huntington Road

Action to prevent parking on the footway adjacent to the zebra crossing at 197 – 215 Huntington Road. Option A – Agreed to advertise a proposal to prohibit waiting on the verge/footway for the full length of the zig-zag carriageway marking with limited parking for the lay-by area.

—————–

York Labour Councillors reveal cunning plan?

Site capacity for new homes - draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Site capacity for new homes – draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Labour Councillor Dave Merrett seems to have overstepped accepted guidelines when welcoming a planning application for the Our Lady’s school site.

He was quoted in the local paper as supporting a plan to build 56 homes on the site – almost double the number allocated in the Local Plan that Cllr Merrett approved in the spring.

If approved at the meeting on 21st November, the proposal would mean that the green space, school nature reserve and children’s playground will all be lost.

Normally executive Councillors avoid commenting publicly on planning applications once they have been submitted. They allow normal consultation with residents to take place before a cross party planning committee meeting decides on the merits of each proposal.

A public intervention by an executive Councillor could be deemed to be putting undue pressure on the planning officers who work in his department and who will author reports recommending approval or rejection of an application.

Officials are understood to have said already that the density on the development – at 82 homes per hectare based on the existing built footprint- is in excess of what would normally be permitted in a sub-urban location.

Meanwhile the Council Leader is also interfering in the planning processes.

Following on from his public opposition to converting unused shops into residential accommodation, he told the last Council meeting, when questioned about the higher number of housing units coming forward on brownfield sites that,

sessions site

sessions site

“the important distinction between the positions of the Liberal Democrats, and the Conservatives it has to be said, is that the other parties believe those living in central wards should have housing built on any spare piece of land anywhere near them and outer wards should continue to enjoy protection against any development anywhere near them”.

“The truth is housing should be built in both central and outer areas where it can be shown to contribute to tackling the city’s housing crisis at the same time as protecting residents’ local amenity”.

In fact over recent months it is central area sites that are seeing high densities proposed with Our Lady’s school only the latest in a long line which includes the former Press offices in Walmgate, the Burnholme club and several dozen others.

The Council Leader may, however, be confused about what constitutes “central wards”.

——————
NB. The Planning committee will consider next week a proposal to build 59 homes on the former Sessions site on Huntington Road. Of these 20% will be “affordable”

The density of the proposed development is just over 32 dwellings per hectare, and would be more densely developed than the surrounding residential areas. However this figure appears to be in conflict with the figures shown in the draft Local Plan.

The draft Local plan showed only 17 homes being built on this (0.47 hectare) site