Front Street planning application turned down

The Council have turned down a planning application which would have seen a disused garage replaced with a small home on an alley off Front Street in Acomb.

The site was located behind 43A Front Street.

The application was criticised because of poor access arrangements.

The decision notice quotes conservation reasons for the refusal.

The report can be viewed by clicking here

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

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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Chicken Express Unit 3 Acomb Wood Shopping Centre Acomb Wood Drive York YO24 3XN

Change of use from former takeaway establishment (use class A5) to coffee shop and restaurant (use class A3)

Ref. No: 18/02633/FUL 

This property is located in the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward. The unit will become an Italian restaurant. See licensing application (click)

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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

Major programme of mobile phone mast replacements in west York

Telephonica and Vodafone have started an upgrade of their mobile phone network in west York.

The programme involves upgrading their local phone masts and base stations.

Local Councillors are being consulted on the changes.

One – on Acomb Wood Drive – has already been subject of some comment as the height of the mast is being increased significantly.

Most of the others are more simple equipment replacements which the companies say will improve 3G phone coverage in the area.

Cllr Andrew Waller is keeping an eye on the plans. He has already pointed out that the location of the phone equipment outside the Acorn Rugby Club car park on Thanet Road, obscures sight lines for those exiting. He hopes that any new equipment might be set back a little to address this issue.

 

Outrage as York Council ignores its own planning condition

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

Work begins on Lincoln Court double glazing

Lincoln Court

Work has started on modernising the apartments in Lincoln Court. New windows are being fitted in advance of the expected demolition of the adjacent Windsor House building.

What happens next is dependent on decisions being taken by the Councils planning committee on Thursday (West Offices, 4:30pm).

The planning committee will be visiting the area tomorrow (Wednesday) morning shortly after 10:00am.

Residents sceptical about Council planning applications.

Concerns ignored in committee report as play, congestion and parking fears rise

Kingsway area residents have expressed concerns that their views have been ignored in reports being presented to a planning committee meeting on Thursday. The reports consider plans for new developments in the area on Council owned land.

Newbury Avenue

The lack of alternative car parking provision was a major issue in the Newbury Avenue area when planning permission to demolish 28 garages was granted last May. The planning committee specifically required that 4 alternative spaces be constructed before demolition works started. This would have involved moving a telecoms cabinet which would have taken about 8 weeks to complete. 24 weeks later it turns out that the Council have only just asked the telecoms companies to act. Rather disingenuously the Council states that, as the garages are now all empty, demolishing them will not add to the parking problems in the area. They don’t admit that, despite a long waiting list of people wanting to rent them,  the Council stopped new lettings in 2012. It was this action that has contributed to the parking problems which are already apparent in the area.

Hob Moor School playing field

It has been known for some time that the Council intended to expand by building on the school playing field which lies to the rear of Windsor House and Lincoln Court. It came as something of surprise to many residents that this included the demolition of the Multi User Games Area (MUGA) Early in the consultation process the Council said that any sports or play facilities that were affected would be provided elsewhere on the site.

This is now under question.

Children’s ball games facility threatened

The proposal at Hob Moor school is for  “a playing pitch on presently unused land to the east of the school together with an area of informal “Forest School” activities including a wetland, timber walkway and a fabric covered outdoor teaching space”.

The new location, “ comprises an area of unimproved grassland which partially includes an area of derelict ridge and furrow of good quality which represents a survivor of a once more elaborate area surrounding the outskirts of the City and dating back to the Medieval period”.

There is no mention of either an all-weather kick about area or any other play facility being re-provided.

Windsor House

The redevelopment of this site mentions the need for” a Community Use Agreement” for the new school playing field.

It is unclear with whom the agreement would be, for what hours and via with what access route?

The report on the Windsor House site dismiss the concerns raised in a petition collected by local residents. Officials accept that the local highway network is sub-standard (too narrow to meet modern standards). They claim only about 18 car trips a day would be generated by the 42 members of staff who will work at the new Children’s Centre. They claim 13 parking spaces will be adequate.

The officials conveniently forget that parking problems in the area have already been exacerbated by other building works including the 66 additional homes at Hob Stones.

Changing lifestyles mean that many more delivery vans also now visit the area.

At the very least the Council should ensure that there is a service road provided, from the parking area at the Hob Moor school, to the rear access to the centre. This might reduce the traffic impact on Kingsway West while providing an access for mini buses carrying disabled children and for deliveries.

Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court. Work has started on replacing windows. Concerns about parking

The proposal would see an additional 10 “extra care” bedrooms provided on the site. There are currently 22 apartments located on there. These are

being modernised with work having started recently on providing new double glazing. These will generate additional traffic and parking demands.

The report makes the outrageous claim that the MUGA is “disused”; something that officials apparently told the Sports Council in a bid to get them to withdraw their objection to the closure plan.

In fact, the Council suspended routine maintenance on the facility while discussions took place and later secured the entrance to prevent use. Funding had been made to provide “off the streets” activities there last summer but this was never implemented.

The MUGA has now been renovated and is once again usable with surrounding vegetation cleared back

It seems that west York faces a further loss of green fields and play facilities.

Inadequate parking provision will blight the area while congestion levels will increase

The neighbourhood deserves better.

Disabled children’s centre site plan 1

Lincoln Court expansion plans 2018

 

Latest planning applications for the Westfield Ward – Newbury Avenue changes being “fast tracked”

 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


Newbury Avenue garage block which could be demolished before alternative car parking spaces are provided.

Garage Court Site At Newbury Avenue York

Variation of condition 16 of permitted application 18/00410/GRG3 to alter date of providing 4 public parking spaces to prior to commencement of the superstructure of the bungalows. (NB. This involves demolishing the garages before alternative off street parking spaces are provided) 

Ref. No: 18/02441/GRG3 

Although this application has only just been submitted it is being “fast tracked” and will be determined at a planning sub committee meeting taking place on Thursday 6th December. The officer recommendation is that authority be delegated to approve the application. To ensure that their representations are considered by Councillors, residents should email any comments to planning.comments@york.gov.uk asap (Quote ref: 18/02441/GRG3 ).

The planning committee meeting will  start at 4.30 pm at West Offices, Station Rise, York.

Residents may attend the meeting and make representations on the officer recommendations (which are to approve the application). Residents may suggest additional conditions which should be attached to any approval. Alternatively, concerns can be emailed to the meeting clerk marked for the attention of the Councillors who will be  making the decisions.

Email:  christopher.elliott@york.gov.uk

You have the right to speak at the meeting on 6th December. If you wish to speak, you must register this by telephoning (01904) 551088, and asking for or a Democracy Officer before 5:00pm on Wednesday 5th December.

Please let him/her know if you would like a copy of the Committee report.

Further details are available of the Councils web site https://tinyurl.com/YPCDec2018

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71 Green Lane Acomb York YO24 3DJ

Display of 1no. externally illuminated business signboard

Ref. No: 18/02637/ADV 

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3 Otterwood Bank York YO24 3JS

Single storey side and rear extension

Ref. No: 18/02339/FUL 

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71 Bellhouse Way York YO24 3LL

Conservatory to rear

Ref. No: 18/02337/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

York Council “fouls up” on Newbury Avenue development plans

Parking lay-by location

The York Council is planning to delay the provision of alternative off street parking spaces in Newbury Avenue. The spaces – to be located outside the block of flats containing numbers 10 to 16 – were to have been provided to offset the loss of off-street parking space when the adjacent  garages are replaced with 5 bungalows.

The bungalow planning application was approved – with the parking condition – on 3rd May 2018. Officials are now saying that a Virgin media box, located outside the flats, will have to be moved and that this work could take between 6 and 8 weeks.

However, the junction box was already in place when the Planning committee met. It appears that officials had authorised the cabinet location knowing that there was a proposal to provide a lay-by.

Garages to be demolished

Now they want to demolish the garages before any alternative parking is provided.

The Planning committee’s decision, taken in May, was controversial because the 4 parking spaces proposed were not adequate to meet existing parking demands. Objectors asked the committee to make a Section 106 order requiring the developers to fund alternative, off street, spaces in the Windsor Gath/Kingsway West area.

Unfortunately, the committee failed to do so.

Any proposal to delay proving the planned four spaces would add insult to injury.

Insufficient off street parking space available

The new Virgin telecoms cabinet was provided after the plans for the area were published but before the planning committee made its decision on 3rd May 2018. It seems that the part of the Council which approves the location of footway plant acted without consulting the section of the Council which deals with developments.

Planning Councillor were well aware of he location of the telecoms cabinet before they made their decisions.

Other plans to provide alternative off street parking lay-bys in the area are mired in delay and have been for several years now.

Residents can object to the Councils latest plan.

Objectors should visit the “planning on line” web site click and insert reference 18/00410/GRG3 in the search facility,. Objections must be lodged before 11th December.

A Big, Big, £155 million decision for York Council next week

Councillors are rarely asked to make more far reaching decisions than the one they will have to take, about the future of the York Central site, next week. They will approve a £155 million budget to fund “abnormal infrastructure costs” with £45 million of it coming from Council resources. Of this, an additional £35 million will be borrowed.

The Council has already spent £5.4 million of its existing £10 million York Central budget.

The Council hopes to recover its investment through increased business rates payments generated by the new commercial premises that will be built on the site. It is unclear how national government policy may develop on business rate discounts and planning exemptions for those occupying properties in Enterprise Zones.

The abnormal costs arise from a new access bridge, highway cycle and pedestrian routes into and through the site, a new station entrance, a 5.5 ha park, 3 public squares with enabling ground works, site clearance, remediation and utilities supply.

York Central Partnership (YCP) is a partnership of landowning bodies on the York Central site and is comprised of Network Rail, Homes England National Railway Museum and CYC. Over the last 3 years YCP have developed a comprehensive masterplan for the 72 ha site and are currently awaiting the determination of an outline planning application for the 45ha main site to the west of the railway station, which will deliver up to 112,000 sq. m of commercial space and up to 2500 homes as well as a large park, public squares and an expanded Railway Museum (over a net developable area of c25ha).

A report to Councillors says, “This abnormal enabling infrastructure cost of £155m means that without significant public funding the site is simply not viable and the compound risks of preparing the site for development are not likely to be acceptable to the market. It is therefore proposed that the YCP, having undertaken the enablement and funded the work to date, continue to take the role of infrastructure deliverer for the first phase of infrastructure (CYC) and master developer (NR and Homes England as the predominant land owners on the site), in order to de-risk the project and bring it within viable financial parameters. 

Through doing this, the partnership will also exert influence over the timing, nature and quality of development, to optimise fit with policy and corporate objectives whilst respecting the important relationships with local communities, the rest of the city and the historic setting of the site”.

The Council would recover its investment from additional Business Rate income generated by the site. The report forecasts that there could be a maximum cumulative risk to taxpayers of £11.4 million if commercial development is “slow” on the development.

No estimate has been given on the additional annual revenue costs for the Council as the site occupiers start to use public services (e.g. waste collection, lighting etc.) in the City.

The developers do not, at present, have an identified core tenant for the office units.

It is hoped that some residential units on the site may be marketed as early as next year. It is likely to be 2021 before the access roads and bridges are completed.

Any decision by the Council to commit to the expenditure next week will once again mean that there are potential conflicts of interest between the authority as an investor and in  its role as an “independent” planning authority.

The Councils record on impartially determining applications in which it has a financial interest (e.g. Lowfields) has been disappointing in recent years

NB. Figures being reported to the same meeting next week reveal that the York Council will – before taking on the above debt – owe £213.1 million. This will increase to £314.2 million by 2022. By the same date, 18% of council tax payments will be used just to to pay interest and principal repayment charges on Council borrowing.