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

Anger mounts as York Council ignores complaints about spoil heap on Front Street

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

Plan shows Council owned site which has been bulldozed

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

Spoil heap is nearly 4 metres high

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.

There are also questions about whether the activities conflict with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

There are complaints about early morning activities. Construction work on the bowling club site is conditioned not start until after 8:00am,.

It is very disappointing that the Council has not acted more promptly to reassure residents about what is going on.

Not a good start for the authorities new Executive members of whom we had expected better.