Askham Bog planning application set to be refused

The Planning committee is being recommended to refuse planning permission for the erection of  516 houses on Moor Lane near Woodthorpe.

The application caused an outcry last year because of concerns about its effect on the nearby Askham Bog. A host of celebrity experts lined up to oppose the plan. They pointed to the disastrous effect that changes to the hydrology in the area could have on the Site of Scientific Interest.

The report describes the existing site.

The application site extends to approximately 40.5Ha of farmland to the South of Moor Lane in Woodthorpe approximately 3.5km from the city centre. The farmland is divided by mature hedges, trees, a number of farm tracks and field drains. Marsh Farm sits within the centre of the site and consists of a farm house with a mixture of period and modern barns”.

The site is shown as Green Belt in the latest York Local Plan. This plan will be subject to a public examination over the next few weeks.

The need to preserve the Gren Belt boundary in the area forms the basis for the likely refusal of the application. However, concerns are also expressed about traffic generation from the site as well as other issues

Objections to the application were raised By Natural England, Historic England and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (who manage the Bog site). A wide range of other organisations and local Councillors have objected to the proposal. There were also 401 individual letters of objections and 7210 emails!

The Planning Committee meets to determine the application on Thursday 11th July at 4:30pm.

If the application is refused, the developer has a right of appeal to the Secretary of State.

This might result In a Public Inquiry.

Poor research or something more sinister?

A few days ago, Labour issued a statement condemning the City of York Council for agreeing to sell off Bootham Park Hospital. Only problem was that the Council had never owned the hospital site. Decisions about its future rest with NHS property, a central government agency.

Labours 2014 plan to develop land on Moor Lane

Now Labour candidates in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe are trying to blame the local coalition for the proposal to build near to Askham Bog on Moor Lane.

It appears that the candidates – who in fairness appear to have little local experience – do not realise that it was a Labour controlled Council that first identified the site for development when they published their version of the Local Plan in 2014 (it is still available to be read “on line”).

The previous version of the Plan, agreed by the outgoing LibDem led council in 2011, had retained the site in the Green Belt.

An incoming Labour administration adopted a “Big City” approach to development and earmarked large areas of Green Belt for development. They wanted to grow the size of the City by 25%. This included building on the land at Moor Lane.

Later the plan was jettisoned when Labour lost control of the Council following a by election in the autumn of 2014.

Labour on social media Mar 2019

The latest version of the Local Plan – backed by the ruling LibDem/Tory coalition – protects the Moor Lane site from building.

Not withstanding this, developers are still trying to use the 2014 draft Local Plan as leverage to get planning permission for the site before the final revised  Plan is implemented  by central government.

It takes a particularly thick brass neck to accuse your opponents of responsibility for a mistake that your own side made.

NB. Labour have published their 2019 local election manifesto. In it they promise to build hundreds of new houses each year many of which will be in new “villages” on the outskirts of the City. The new “villages” will be located on what is now Green Belt land.

Building plans near Moor Lane nature reserve

Askham Bog

Developers submit plans which could threaten the future of Askham Bog.

Developers are seeking “outline planning permission (with all matters reserved except for means of access) for up to 516 residential units (Class C3) with local centre (Use Classes A1-A4, B1a, C3, D1) public open space with pavilion and associated infrastructure and full application for demolition of existing buildings and structures and creation of ecological protection and enhancement zone”.

The location is on Moor Lane “OS Fields 5475 7267 And 8384 Moor Lane Acomb York” Click this   Reference for full details 18/02687/OUTM

The application went “live” on the Councils “planning on line” web site only yesterday. Objections have to be lodged by 9th January with a statutory expiry date of 30th January.

Some believe that the application has been timed to coincide with the busy festive season when resident’s attention is distracted.

The proposal is highly controversial.

Sir David Attenborough said during a visit to the site in 2016,

“If someone was proposing to put a building site next to York Minster there would be an outcry. This is a treasure that is irreplaceable.

“The citizens of York are lucky to have it on their doorstep and it is their responsibility to look after it.”

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust spokesperson said the bog was a remarkable survivor of the ancient fenlands of Yorkshire, a ‘wonderful mosaic of fen, woodland and meadow,’ occupying the site of an ancient lake left behind by a retreating glacier 15,000 years ago.

The present Council specifically took the step of excluding the Moor Lane area from the development plans when it published its Local Plan. In 2 months time an independent inquiry will take place into the Plan.

It seems that the developers want to “bounce” a decision on the proposal before the formal Local Plan can be adopted.

They may be hoping that Labour will regain control of the York Council at the local elections which are taking place in May 2019. When Labour were last in power, they slated Moor Lane and other areas of Green Belt for development.

These decisions were revoked in 2015 by the new coalition administration.

Unfortunately the present Council is also guilty of pre-judging the Local Plan having succeeded recently in “bouncing” a plan to develop playing fields at Lowfields through the planning system. They did so before residents had the opportunity to voice their views at the public inquiry.

Opposition to the proposals is being coordinated by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Click this link to go to their website www.ywt.org.uk

Moor Lane development plans December 2018

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.

Travellers fail to leave Moor Lane site

Caravans remain despite notice to leave

Caravans remain despite notice to leave

Travellers who are occupying council-owned land on Moor Lane have failed to leave the site despite being issued with a ‘Direction to Leave’ notice last week.

The notice expired on 10th August.

Legal avenues are now being pursued, beginning with the matter being brought before Magistrates later this week.

The issue is being pursued by the Councillors who represent the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Good news for pensioners using Moor Lane park and ride bus stop

Park and Ride bus stop Moor LaneFirst have confirmed that pensioners with a valid pass joining the Park and Ride bus at the Moor Lane car park stop WILL be entitled to travel free of charge.

At present pensioners with a pass joining Park and Ride services are charged 80p a journey.

Ann Reid says,

“I fought hard to retain this stop to allow residents who live within walking distance to still use the P& R service and avoid driving to the new site but the increased fares might well see increased car use”