Coronavirus York updates; 4th December 2020

Deaths and test results

TWO (2) further Coronavirus deaths announced by the York Hospital Trust today. One occurred on Tuesday and one on Thursday. The cumulative second wave death toll now stands at 97 for the York and Scarborough Hospitals

FIFTEEN (15) additional positive test results announced today. Brings cumulative total to 5710.

The case rate /110k population figure has now dropped to 68.3. That means that the rate has halved in little over one week.

There have also been improvements in the figures at county, regional and national levels.

Six neighbourhoods are now virtually virus free. Only 4 cases have been recorded between New Earswick, Rawcliffe, Holgate West, Heworth North, Copmanthorpe and Dunnington

Only seven neighbourhoods are now above the 100 case threshold

In some neighbourhoods the infection rates are fluctuating quite a lot. This is partly the consequence of only very small variances in the numbers. One area that has seen a significant reduction in cases is Holgate West/Westfield East.

Manor School

ALMOST 100 pupils at Manor school have been told to self isolate after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed.

Manor CE Academy said it was advised by Public Health England yesterday that there was a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the school, and a further case was confirmed this morning.

A total of 96 students have been identified as having direct prolonged contact with the confirmed cases, They have all been contacted and instructed to self-isolate. The school remains open and all other children should continue to attend if they remain well.

York Police go online to listen to public feedback

The officers who keep York city centre residents, businesses and visitors safe are going online to get people’s feedback about policing issues.

With COVID-19 reducing the opportunities for officers to meet and talk to members of the public face-to-face, the team is now turning to video call technology to help.

More people than ever are using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime and other video calling services to keep up with family, friends and colleagues. And in York city centre, they can now do the same with their local police team.

Sergeant Nick Plumb said: “We’re always really keen to listen to your feedback – even when we can’t do this in person. If you visit or work in York city centre, and would like to bring an issue to our attention, or ask us any questions about policing, this is a great opportunity to do so.”

Inspector Andy Godfrey and Sergeant Nick Plumb will be available online between 5pm and 6.30pm on Tuesday 8 December 2020.

To take part, simply email Please include your name, address, and contact phone number, as well as a brief idea of what you want to discuss. (If a number of people have the same concerns as you, you may be able to take part in a joint session).

The video calls will take place over Microsoft Teams – attendees will receive a personal invitation via email, which can be used in any web browser, without having to create an account.

Business grants alerts – time running out

Thousands of York businesses that have missed out on Government grants could, be eligible for an Additional Restrictions Grant – but they have to apply before Monday 7 December.

The council is urging businesses, especially those without rateable premises or that operate earlier in the supply chain, to check if they are eligible for support.

Your business may be eligible if it:

  • operates from a permanent fixed premises in York, with trade impacted by 75% or more due to lockdown restrictions
  • doesn’t operate from a fixed premises in York, but usually trades in York 75% or more of the time, and you’re a York resident

In addition the business must also:

  • not qualify for the Lockdown Restrictions Grant
  • have been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from the business premises

Your business will not be eligible if:

  • you started trading on or after 5 November 2020
  • you’re able to continue to operate during local or national restrictions, because you don’t depend on providing direct, in-person, services from your premises
  • your business hasn’t seen a reduction in income of 75% or more
  • your business is in administration, insolvent, or has had a striking off notice made against it
  • you have already been awarded a Lockdown Restrictions Grant
  • you’re not a York resident trading in York for 75% or more of the time
  • you don’t have a fixed business premises in York
  • you’ve reached the state aid limit

Businesses that receive 100 percent rate relief are eligible to apply.

Alongside this scheme businesses who already qualified at Tier 2 will continue to get payments on a fortnightly basis (Tier reviews are fortnightly). Any business that has not applied yet for tier 2 but believe they will qualify can make a claim.

Businesses can apply for open grants at

To get notification when grant applications open, and up to date info on other business support, sign up for our regular bulletins here

Carlton Tavern to be demolished Council prepares to oppose development plans for former Sugar Works on Boroughbridge Road

Planning committee Councillors voted last night to approve a proposal to demolish the Carlton Tavern and replace it with an elderly care facility.  Ironically the decision was taken on the casting vote of a Chairman who would not have been in that position had he not been arbitrarily removed from his Executive post in September by the Council Leader.  With a different Chair, the decision might have gone the other way, although the applicants would no doubt feel that they would have had a good chance of winning the inevitable subsequent appeal.

Next up, in an important series of planning decisions pending on the Acomb side of the City, is consideration of plans for the Sugar Works and former Manor school site on Boroughbridge Road.

The Council has dithered for over 3 years in getting this, apparently ideal, brown field housing site off the drawing board. The owners finally lost patience and have appealed to the Secretary of State to intervene on grounds of “non-determination” by the York Council. The planning application was first submitted in 2014.

Consultation had started in 2013

Bizarrely the Planning committee must now formally say whether they would have approved the application had it been presented to them.

They are being asked to consider “the development of the site comprising up to 1,100 residential units, community uses (D1/D2) and new public open space with details of access (to include new access points at Millfield Lane and Boroughbridge Road and a new link road, crossing the Former Manor School Site) and demolition of the Former Manor School buildings”

Officials are recommending that the proposal be opposed.

They list many deficiencies in the plan while acknowledging that the site was slated for housing development in the Draft Local Plan tabled in 2011 (by the then LibDem led Council), by the Labour Council in their 2014 Draft Local Plan and again by the new Coalition administration last year.

The main reasons for refusing the application are listed as:

  • Inadequate financial contributions toward pre-school, primary school, secondary school funding and off-site sports provision
  • The absence of any affordable housing

There has been a lot of talk recently about allocating the former Manor School playing field as a public park. In 2012 the then Labour controlled Council identified the need for a more central area of public open space as part of a “community hub” on the site.

Over 9 ha is identified in the current proposals for this purpose (In addition an “off site” new cricket pitch will be provided).

In 2013 the Council sold the former Manor School site, including the playing fields, to ABF – the current planning applicants. The sale was not conditional.

At the very least, the planning meeting should determine whether centralised or peripheral open space is the desired way forward for this development.

NB Proposals to develop the Lowfields playing fields will go before the Planning committee in January.

Applications are also expected soon for the former Oakhaven elderly persons home site on Acomb Road, the adjacent police buildings and for the redevelopment of Windsor House in Ascot Way

Old Manor school buildings set to be demolished

York’s planning committee is being recommended to approve an application to demolish the old Manor School buildings on Low Poppleton Lane.

The planning application, which will be discussed at a meeting taking place on 17th August, also contains details of major changes to road junction arrangements in the area.

The changes are necessary to allow new access roads, to the former British Sugar site, to be constructed.

In turn, this will facilitate the erection of new housing in the area.

There have been relatively few objections to the plan although the Council is being recommended to provide mitigation measures to protect the well-being of the bats that live in the school building.

York Council asset sale

The York Council is planning to sell off property and land that it owns at Lower Darnborough Street, 17/21Piccadilly, the former Manor School and adjacent to the A59 roundabout.

It also intends to purchase the remaining freehold part of Stonebow House.

The scheme on Darnborough Street, would see a vacant former malting converted into 6 town houses, the existing machinery and fittings remaining in situ in the communal area and the creation of a “renewable energy heating centre” using the existing kiln and flue to heat the townhouses which will be let on long leases. The Council have not published details of the successful bid nor have they indicated if it was the highest bid received.

17/21 Piccadilly

17/21 Piccadilly

The Council have negotiated with the owners of the major development site next to Manor school (ABF who own the former British Sugar assets) to sell it. It will form part of the major access to the new housing development. Again the Council have not revealed details of the negotiated price. The site was not put on the open market.

The former aircraft works and (later) tram depot on Piccadilly is – as has been widely reported – set to become a hotel. Offers, which have not been revealed, are subject to the granting of planning permission.

An area of land next to the A59/A1237 roundabout is to be sold to the adjacent garage. The Council understands that a major redevelopment will then take place.

Finally the Council intend to buy out the North Yorkshire County Council, from its 50% ownership of the Stonebow site, for £62,250.

Generally the City has always benefited in the long term from land and property acquisitions so this move may be a good one. However the controversial building is let to property holding company which is currently in receivership, so rapid progress is unlikely.

NB. The York Council has been criticised in the past for selling off assets at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The Haymarket/Hungate car park – which generates over £100,000 a year in income – was sold to an insurance company at the low point in the recession, potentially losing taxpayers over £2 million.