Call for compensation after Council confirms that it did not consult on building compound location

In response to a Freedom of Information request the York Council has now confirmed that it did not consult neighbours or local Councillors before issuing a license which allowed a building contractor to occupy the “old allotments” site at the rear of the library car park.

This site has been owned by the Council for over 15 years. The developers of the adjacent bowling Club land (which does have planning permission) had previously said that they did not want to combine the two sites to provide a abetter overall layout.

Work on the site disturbed residents living in South View Terrace and part of Lowfields Drive.

The first that residents knew of the arrangement, was when heavy plant moved onto the site and started to clear it. This prompted complaints about noise, dust and vibrations.

Spoil heap heights reached over 4 metres at one point.

Local fauna and flora on the site were badly affected.

The Council now says that it granted a license to occupy its land on 8th April. There was no consultation undertaken with neighbours.

Residents complained to the Council on 16th May about the problems being caused.

It wasn’t until 28th May that the Council wrote to affected neighbours telling them about the license.

The Council says that working hours on the compound are restricted to 8:00am – 6:00pm, Mon – Fri plus 9:00am – 1:00pm on Saturdays.

The Council says that “The compound licence requires the developer to leave the property in a clean and tidy condition at the end of the licence, including the removal of hardcore”.  

It goes on to say that it expects the compound to be in use for 12 months.

An investigation into whether the developers have the necessary planning permission to use the building compound is still underway.

In our view affected residents have suffered unexpected and unreasonable disruption and should be entitled to compensation.

It is possible that the matter may be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman

York Council election manifestos compared

5. Leisure

York’s cultural attractions have strengthened in recent years. The Art Gallery/Museums Trust is putting on a wide range of events while the Libraries management team have recently been awarded a 15 year extension to their contract. York has a strong theatre presence and attracted the new Shakespeare outdoor venue last year

Things are less promising for informal sport and open space provision. Playing fields in west York are being built on. Outdoor games areas are being closed and bowling greens lost.

All parties are promising to plant more trees, although none yet recognise that more needs to be invested in maintaining existing tree stocks.

Rather belatedly, the adverse impact of the cuts made to youth provision 7 years ago, are being recognised. All parties promise to do more to entertain teenagers.

The LibDems and Greens commit to a rolling programme of play equipment renewal.

LiveWellYork web site to launch

Community groups and residents are invited to celebrate the launch of www.livewellyork.co.uk, a city-wide source of high-quality information and advice, at venues around the city on Thursday 14 March.

The Live Well York website promotes opportunities for residents to enjoy healthy, active and independent lives and supports our commitment to early help and prevention, and to help people live independently and well.

Having been in development for a year, Live Well York is being used by over 1,000 people every month and is now launching formally. It offers residents:

  • some 800 community activities
  • an events calendar with around 70 events posted each month
  • over 100 volunteering opportunities
  • a Service and Products directory with over 80 services listed
  • 750 reviews with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Developed by a partnership of City of York Council, York CVS, Explore York, Age UK York, Healthwatch York and Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group, the website offers links to good quality information and advice on topics from travel, housing, caring, money and legal matters.

To prevent information being duplicated, the website navigates people to other sites such as Healthwatch York’s Mental Health directory, the Young Person’s Survival Guide, a map of the council’s community hubs and AccessAble’s accessibility information.

Future and further improvements to Live Well York include:

  • a sports and active leisure directory
  • improved accessibility with Easy Read pages
  • training and work experience opportunities
  • including information for care homes on how to set up activities
  • growing the number of partners to ensure a joined-up approach to providing good quality information and advice.

Find out more about what the website can offer you, or how you can contribute to it at  https://www.livewellyork.co.uk/

Local young people quizzed on recreational needs

Local Councillors Sheena Jackson and Stephen Fenton took the opportunity to ask young people what leisure facilities they would like to see developed when the Fair was in the area last week.

Stephen Fenton and Sheena Jackson prepare to survey local teenagers

The Fair was held at the Acorn Rugby Ground. The Acorn Rugby team have fared quite well in National League 1 this season. They have recorded 11 victories.

Across the road, the Beagle football team recorded another win on Saturday. They travelled to Bubwith where they forced a 2 – 1 victory. They are at home at Chesneys Field next Saturday when they host Stamford Bridge in a 2:00pm kick off.

The Foxwood Residents Association will be meeting on Wednesday. The local Police Inspector is expected to attend the meeting which is taking place at the Foxwood Community centre starting at 7:00pm. Details here. On the agenda will be a discussion about various anti social behaviour incidents which have taken place in the area over the last couple of months. The meeting is open to any resident living in the Foxwood area.

Sheena has reported an overgrown bush which is partly obstructing the path on Bellhouse Way

Residents will be undertaking a “walk about” in the area on Wednesday. They will be joined by housing managers and representatives from the JRHT. It is hoped that problems like overgrown bushes and trees will be identified and dealt with following the visits.

 

 

 

Fossbank skatepark privatised

According to the Council, “social entrepreneurs are taking over a York skatepark to give it a bright new future – and are inviting residents to a free trial”.

“In an innovative move, City of York Council has entered into an agreement with a social enterprise to breathe new life into Zoo Skatepark as it’s to be known – and local skaters are invited to come and try it out.

The park, located under Sainsbury’s car park on Foss Bank, is to be taken over by Zoo Skatepark Ltd.

The agreement has ensured that the skatepark will stay open to young people and skate sport enthusiasts from across York.  (more…)

Children’s magazine Shine re-launches online

The much loved children’s magazine Shine, has re-launched to ensure locals to York are kept up to date with the latest clubs, events and sports happening across the city of York.

After some time away the magazine has now re-launched online and serves as a one-stop website for all you need to know about local activities for children and young people .Aimed at those aged between 5 and 18 years old, this resource has launched just in time to prepare your diaries for the 6 week holidays.

Browse the online calendars for Sports, Play, Parks, Arts and Library activities and events across the York area. You can also read the Shine Blog to find out a little bit more about courses, holiday camps and clubs to get involved in.

Organisers and leaders of children’s groups can register as a Shine user and have activities listed in the magazine’s calendar. The full magazine can be downloaded online.

Some of the exciting highlights happening this summer include:

West Bank Park Summer Fair 2018:

Free entry and on-site parking available at this year’s Summer Fair at West Bank Park from 1-4pm on June 24th.

‘Play In A Week’ – York Theatre Royal:

Join a fast-paced rehearsal week at York Theatre Royal. This year ages 8-14 years old can partake in the performance of the Jungle Book. Places cost £95 and are open to ages 8-14 years old. The course runs from August 13th to August 17th. For those aged 5-8years old, The Dream Play rehearsal week is taking place August 20th to August 24th.

‘Squash Camps 2018’ – Queen Margaret’s School:

Take part in a 3 day course to learn and develop you squash skills. The course runs between 9am-12pm a day for 3 days. Courses cost £45 per person. Course dates are July 17th-19th and July 31st– August 2nd.

Visit www.yor-ok.org.uk/shine for more details. And you can find the Shine blog at www.shineyork.wordpress.com 

Citywide review of green and recreation space provision

At last nights the City of York’s Executive call-in meeting regarding the sale of Willow Lodge, the Liberal Democrats called for a review of green and recreational space provision across York.

It was announced during the call-in, that the highest bidder for the sale of Willow Lodge had reduced their offer for the purchase of the land. The decision will need to come back to the Executive for a future report, after assessment of the commercial bids.  This report would itself be subject to the same possibilities of a call-in.

In a separate vote, Liberal Democrats Councillors called on Council Officers to undertake a review of green and recreational space, when considering future decision on developing Council land.

Cllr Andrew Waller added:

“There is a growing interest in public open space, whether it is playing fields or small recreational sites, which provide a break in the urban development of York.  All residents in York should feel that they are being considered when decisions are taken on developing Council land.