More changes at Spark

The shipping container village on Piccadilly may look a little different this winter. Spark has applied for planning permission to install plastic sheeting to close the gap between the canvass roof and the side of the development.

No sign yet of the cladding being installed. Nor has the council confirmed that they have received their share of the “profits” on the enterprise from last year.

Latest planning application for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward. 

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference 

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Dryfix Preservation Ltd The Yard Tudor Road York YO24 3AY

Proposal              Display of non-illuminated gate mounted sign measuring 1.85m by 1.75m (retrospective).

Reference           19/00761/ADV

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

NB. The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Bats and hedgehogs at risk through Council developments

The Council has now published on their web site the comments of their Ecology and Countryside officer on the plan to extend Lincoln Court.

Comments of Council ecology officer March 2019

Contractors are currently ripping out the hedge on the school boundary of the site.

The officer states that a replacement hedge must be provided as part of any redevelopment.

There are also concerns about the displacement of bats.

One item, relating to the movement of small mammals like hedgehogs,  will be of particular interest to local residents who are concerned not just about this proposal but also the plans for the nearby Lowfields site.

There a developer (Yorspace) is planning to replace the existing railings with a close boarded fence. Effectively such fences hinder the free movement of hedgehogs

The Ecology officer hasn’t commented on the Lowfield proposal although the wildlife issue has been highlighted by the Lowfields Action Group as part of their objection.

 

Sport England reaffirm their opposition to loss of Kingsway all weather play area

Could the Council fund an upgrade of the Thanet Road Sports area?

The future of the  all weather games (MUGA) provision in the Kingsway part of York remains unclear. Sport England – with the backing of local Netball and Football governing bodies – is insisting that, if the present facility is removed, then a similar provision must be made nearby.

In effect, Sport England have a veto over new developments if they involve the loss of sports fields. They can insist that a development application  is referred to the Secretary of Sate for a decision.

The Foxwood Residents Association has also voiced its concerns claiming that a fitness trail – planned by officials for Chesney’s Field  – would not meet the informal sports/leisure needs of the 8 – 13 age group.  Instead they urge that discussions take place with the Acorn Rugby Club aimed at funding improvements, and wider access, to the floodlit area that is already in place on the Thanet Road Sports area.

York Council officials are being particularly stubborn on this issue. It is putting at risk a plan to modernise the sheltered housing flats at Lincoln Court.

Some flexibility, urgency and imagination in addressing the issues now needs to be shown by both Councillors and officers at West Offices. 

Sport Englands representations can be read by clicking here

The  Residents Association comments can be read here

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Westfield ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

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Marcia Grey

Marcia Grey 24 Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Proposal      Single storey rear extension to create additional storage

Reference   18/02740/FUL

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Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.  http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Council now no longer routinely consults neighbours by letter when an application is received

Acomb Bowling Club development plans recommended for approval

Westfield set to lose another area of green space

The report on this planning application has now been published (click)

It is recommended for approval.

The development, as it is presently proposed, is not in line with residents wishes as expressed in responses to a recent survey. They wanted to see a comprehensive plan for all the sites which lie to the rear of the Library.

There are two significant tissues.

  1. Planning officers claim that no discussions have taken place on the possible extension of the library. We don’t believe this is true The future of the “allotments” land, and also of that to the side of Chancery Court, must be determined together. They are inextricably linked.
  2. To offset the loss of open space on Front Street, officials are proposing a section 106 contribution to provide part of a bowling green at the York RI. This is located in the Holgate ward, about a mile from Front Street. While this may meet the need for bowling facilities (the site is already  green field sports pitch) it does nothing to help Westfield or to address the cumulative deficiency in green space provision in the ward. (It is almost as insensitive as the Councils decision to “relocate” the sports field from Lowfields to land near Bishopthorpe).

There is a very good argument to be made that the Front Street area needs more open space to accommodate the incremental increases in population that are occurring, not least as a result of commercial properties in the area being converted into residential accommodation.

This latest proposal just adds more pressures onto the rapidly diminishing areas of green space in the area.

The planning meeting is open to the public and takes place on Thursday 4th October at 4:30pm at West Offices. The planning committee will visit the site the previous day shortly after 10:00am.

Revised plans submitted but York’s oldest bowling green still under threat

Developers have submitted revised plans for the development of the Acomb Bowling Green site on Front Street. The plot is located behind the Acomb Explore Library.

The revised plans can be viewed by clicking here

The main differences in the revised plan are:

  • – 10 as opposed to 11 dwellings are proposed
  • – Change in the layout
  • – Clarification of proposed ground levels
  • – Widening of vehicle access in front of the public house to facilitate deliveries

There is no evidence that the Council, as the owner of the library site and the former allotments next to Chancery Court, is engaging on the future of their parcels of land.

The new plans do appear to provide for a potential access to these areas but fall far short of the hoped for comprehensive regeneration plan.

Council officials were instructed to buy the bowling club land some 10 years ago but failed to negotiate a deal. (The purchase would have allowed the club car park to be used by the Library, although bowling activities could have continued)

Residents of Vyner House have already petitioned against the proposals which would remove not only York’s oldest bowling green, but would also see another area of green space lost from within the Acomb neighbourhood.

Any development should ideally embrace accommodation aimed at older people (amenities are on the doorstep) as well as providing much needed office space for the Library, Police and neighbourhood workers.

There were hopes that a “pocket park”could be incorporated which might include some allotment beds.

Residents can object to the current plans via the Councils planning on line web site click here The planning reference is 18/00586/FULM

Acomb Bowling Club blow

Front Street green space threatened.

Acomb Bowling Club

Acomb Bowling Club want to quit their Front Street home and sell the land for a housing development. A planning application submitted over 3 weeks ago has only just been published on the Councils web site.

Reference           18/00586/FULM

Address Acomb Bowling Club Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Proposal              Erection of 11 dwellings following demolition of existing buildings

This is not the first time that this area of open space has been threatened. Over 10 years ago the club was also on the brink of folding.

At that time York Council officials were instructed to offer to buy the land. The intention was to use the car park associated with the site to supplement the parking available at the Acomb Explore Library.

The bowling club would have continued to enjoy use of the greens for a nominal rent.

The Library would have been expanded onto land, already owned by the Council, at the rear.

The intention was to provide flats above a “one stop shop” facility incorporating a extension to the library.  It later transpired that officials had failed to close a deal for the club site.

The scheme was quietly dropped when the incoming Labour administration decided in 2011 to centralised customer contact facilities at West Offices in the City centre. The Councils existing “Acomb Office” was closed.

The new coalition administration was invited in 2015 to look again at how the areas of land to the rear of the library – including the bowling green – might be used in the future but progress has been slow.

The Bowling Club application may reinvigorate the need for a comprehensive development brief for this part of Front Street.

Residents have already criticised any attempt to reduce still further the amount of green space in the Westfield area. It already has the lowest proportion of open space and sports pitches of any sub-urban ward.

The Councils plans to build on the Lowfields playing fields will make the situation even worse.

Residents can object to the planning application by emailing planning.comments@york.gov.uk quoting reference 18/00586/FULM.

Library precinct plan 2011