The Council is dealing promptly now with graffiti reports. The new system seems to be working well.
Unfortunately the current spell of wet weather is slowing progress on local building projects.
The five new bungalows being built by the York Council on Newbury Avenue are now several weeks late. The contract was supposed to be completed in early September.
The contract at the site has a value of £3/4 million.
The development was a controversial one because the Council declined to make adequate alternative off street parking space available for the former renters of the garages which used to occupy the site.
The development was delayed last year following a mix up over the relocation of a telecoms cabinet.
Residents are hoping that some solutions, to the problems caused by widespread building works in the Westfield area, will emerge from last nights public meeting.
There are acute congestion, parking and noise problems at and near sevral sites.
Most of the promised new parking bays in the Westfield area have now been completed. These are funded from a combination of the Westfield ward delegated budget and the Housing Estate Improvement Programme.
An additional 5 off street lay-by spaces are due to be provided in Tudor Road shortly. These will be funded as part of the Lowfields redevelopment project.
Building contractors have moved onto the Newbury Avenue building site before a promised parking bay has been brought into use. The contract is worth £730,000 and will see 5 bungalows built on the site.
The Council had originally insisted that the 4 space bay be provided before work started on demolishing the garages. They later hurriedly changed the condition to say the bays must be provided before construction work started.
The intention was that the bays would provide some relief for local residents forced to park “on street” when 20 or so vehicles are displaced from the garages.
That hasn’t happened and work has only just started on the bays.
Official’s had blamed a slow response from a utility company that had been asked to move one of its boxes.
Sadly the other parking bays promised for the beleaguered estate have also not been provided.
Local Councillors had allocated funding from their delegated estate improvement and ward committee budgets. They surveyed residents opinions on suitable sites a couple of months ago and received the thumbs up for locations near Beverley Court and Kempton Close.
But no feedback on the plans has subsequently been given to residents.
With only 6 weeks until the end of the financial year, there is now doubt whether the Windsor Garth and Danesfort Avenue spaces will actually be provided.
The Council have appointed Transcore Ltd to build the 5 new bungalows scheduled to be constructed on the site of the Newbury Avenue garages.
The value of the contract is £731,505.90. It is understood that separate contracts are being awarded for other work such as the demolition of the existing garages.
The works are currently held up following an administrative mistake which meant that movement of telecoms equipment, which needed to be moved before alternative parking provision could be made, wasn’t ordered soon enough.
The Council contract for the bungalows gives a target completion date of 3rd September 2019.
We understand that when demolition contractors removed the garage doors at Newbury Avenue they found a stolen car in one unit.
Separately, the Council have been served with a Freedom of Information request which seeks to explore why some Council garages have been left unused despite there being a waiting list of potential renters.
Demolition contractors (who suspended their activities yesterday following complaints that the work was unauthorised) will be able to demolish the Newbury Avenue garage blocks when the current public consultation period ends.
Officials claimed that this will be before Christmas
The planning committee was asked enforce the condition that four additional parking spaces be provided before the garages are demolished. This had been the wish of the planning committee when it met in May.
It was pointed out that some of the heaviest plant and lorries would be accessing the site during any demolition works, making additional off street parking options, on the narrow roads, even more essential.
The Council had been criticised for refusing to let several of the empty garages over the last 6-year period despite there being a waiting list of potential renters.
They moved quickly in the summer to end the remaining tenancies and secure the garage area.
A telecoms junction box must be moved before the car parking spaces can be provided. The junction box had been provided after the plans for new bungalows were published but before the committee took its decision in May. Councillors and officials were aware then of the existence on location of the equipment
Yesterday officials were unable to explain why they had not acted more quickly to get the telecoms equipment moved
NB. Work on providing additional parking lay-bys on Windsor Garth – which was authorised over a year ago – is also still outstanding. The Council has failed to provide a completion date despite many deadlines having come and gone. The lay-bys are being funded under the Westfield ward delegated budget.
Newbury Avenue garage demolition starts before committee has opportunity to consider an application to change a planning restriction.
Two days before the Councils planning committee was due to consider whether a planning condition on the Newbury Avenue garage site should be changed, to allow for early demolition of the blocks, contractors have gone ahead and started the work anyway.
As previously reported, the Planning committee imposed a condition when granting planning permission for the erection of 5 bungalows on the site in May. The condition required alternative parking spaces to be constructed before demolition works commenced.
The provision of the parking spaces required a telecoms cabinet to be moved, but it appears that officials failed to issue the order for this work to be done. It takes about 8 weeks to complete.
It appears that they have compounded the error be letting, and now implementing, the demolition contract.
Plant is on site today and garage doors have already been removed.
Local Councillor Andrew Waller is taking up the issue and the unlawful action is likely to be raised when the planning application is debated at Thursday’s meeting.
Even then officials will not be able to authorise the work until the statutory period for resident objections expires on 20th December.
The demolition will come as a major embarrassment to those involved in the planning system in York. They have already been criticised for allowing changes to developments like Spark in Piccadilly without the proper planning permissions.
However, a flagrant breech of a planning condition by one of the Council’s own departments sets a new low.
The Council has been heavily criticised for ignoring planning concerns at Lowfields on a similar site where it is the land owner, developer and planning authority.
At Newbury Avenue the York Council seems to have decided to ignore the planning laws altogether