Plans to transform Castle Mills submitted

Castle Mills

The council has submitted its plans to create a new public park at the rear of the Castle Museum, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Foss, commercial spaces for local independent traders, and 106 new apartments, including new council housing.

This is another major milestone in the delivery of the regeneration of the Castle Gateway. As well as bringing life to the old Castle Mills car park site and a place for growing York businesses on Piccadilly, the residential development would fund the construction of a new multi-storey car park on St George’s Field.

This parking would then allow Castle car park to close and be replaced by additional public space.

The Castle Mills plans would see two residential apartment blocks built, with the entire southern block of 20 apartments being new council housing. The northern block will include 86 flats ranging in size from 1 bed apartments to 2 bed duplexes.  The ground floor of both apartment blocks will feature commercial spaces.

The council are taking a lead on environmental sustainability, with homes benefiting from renewable energy sources and the proposals providing a car free development with high level of cycle parking.

The proposals also include a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the river Foss linking up with the new pedestrian/cycle crossing over the inner ring and connecting up wider cycle routes to create safer and sustainable journeys in to and through the city centre.

The bridge will also link across to the area at the rear of the Castle Museum. This space, which is currently part of the museum grounds, will be opened to the public as a new riverside park, creating a place to relax in the shadow of the Castle Walls.

The proposals have been shaped and developed with stakeholders, partners and residents through the innovative My Castle Gateway public engagement project. The design will create new landmark riverside buildings for Piccadilly whilst generating the financial return to help pay for the regeneration proposals for the Castle Gateway.  

The main features of the masterplan are:

  • replacing Castle Car Park with a multi-storey car park and visitor arrival point on St George’s Field
  • Castle Car Park and the Eye of York to become a new public space, hosting events throughout the year
  • a new residential and leisure building visually enhancing and covering the servicing yard at the rear of the Coppergate Centre
  • a new riverside walk by the Foss from the south of the city and a pedestrian/cycle bridge connecting with Piccadilly
  • bringing life to the Foss Basin, including a new apartment development
  • new commercial and residential developments on the sites of Castle Mills Car Park and 17-21 Piccadilly
  • significant improvements to public spaces and streets throughout the area

After the planning application has been validated by the council’s planning team in the coming days, it will be available to view at www.york.gov.uk/planning under reference number 19/02415/FUL

Further information can be found on the My Castle Gateway project at www.york.gov.uk/CastleGatewayCastleMills

Further details of homes plans for Ordnance Lane, Duncombe Barracks & Burnholme

The York Council says that the next stage of it’s work with York residents to design the homes, streets and open spaces planned for the city is underway, and everyone is welcome to get involved.

The latest workshops will inform our architects of local priorities before they start work at the drawing boards, and are open to all residents to join in. The next phase of these engagement events will be for Ordnance Lane, Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme site.

Duncombe Barracks housing site

David Mikhail, is the founding director of our architect Mikhail Riches and is the design director for the sites coming forward in City of York Council’s Housing Delivery Programme. He said: “Our design team and City of York Council are eager to learn from the people who live, work or study in the area.

“We believe in co-design and know that collaborating with people on our projects helps us to design and build a better place: a new place that belongs to the neighbourhood right from the start.” 

Tom Brittain, assistant director of housing and safer communities, said: “The three-stage engagement events for the council-owned sites will be guided by our housing design manual (www.york.gov.uk/housingdesignmanual). We want to encourage as many people as possible to continue to support these sessions so that they can help create the homes and settings for them that they want to see.”

The event at Hospital Fields Road will be the first for this site and will start conversations between residents and our architects from Mikhail Riches. This will include asking residents about the area and what they want from the homes, streets and open spaces on the site, as has already been done for Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme.

The events at Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme will be detailed, one-day workshops, with lunch provided. At them, residents can hear the ideas and priorities voiced at the first workshops held in October. They can then create 3D models of how they’d like each site to look like.

The third events are scheduled for spring 2020 for the Duncombe Barracks and Burnholme sites. At these, plans of the proposals will be drawn up and feedback on them requested, as well as from on-line surveys, ahead of planning permission being submitted.

Everyone is welcome to these next meetings as we are very keen to hear your views. They will be:  

For more information, please visit www.york.gov.uk/HousingDeliveryProgramme

Demand for additional housing reducing

According to sources within the York Council, the the Office for National Statistics new population projections published yesterday, may have major implications for York Local Plan assumptions.

. The new projections have substantially reduced population growth expectations.

The 2018-based population projections show growth over the next 10 years (2019-2029) is expected to be 31% lower than predicted four years ago in the 2014-based projections.

This equates to 1,270,000 persons and would have serious implications on housing need across the country.

Although of course the government decided to ignore this evidence last time around, and may do so again once these are translated into household projections.

The majority of growth (57%) over the next ten years is expected to in those aged over 75. This is an increase from 50% in the 2014-based projections. This will have implications on the type of housing being planned for as well a potential labour force deficit in the longer term.

The draft York Local Plan claims that nearly 1000 new homes a year would be needed over the next 20 years.

The figure is an exaggeration.

It increasingly looks like the figures agreed for the 2011 draft of the Local Plan (575 additional homes a year) were spot on.

In the meantime green spaces are being developed unnecessarily. There is plenty of brownfield land available to satisfy demand

Shocking that the Council hasn’t realised that its house building programme should concentrate on providing flats and bungalows aimed at older people.

Lowfields playing field has been wrecked

In turn this would have freed up larger homes for families.

Sadly its probably too late now to be of any help on sites like Lowfields which is an ideal site for older residents being within walking distance of good local amenities. .

The new figures may also explain why some sites that are ready for development – for example the land adjacent to the Barbican – continue to be derelict.

The public examination of the draft York Plan starts in a few days time.

Residents anger over Council plan to remove security railings

Local residents in Lowfields are objecting to plans to remove the railings which protect their garden boundaries.

The plan by the Council to replace the railings was first revleaed on tyhis site at the weekend.

According to their Facebook site, the Lowfields Residents Action Group is leading a campaign to get the Council to consult neighbours on their plans.

Their main concerns are about the appearance of a new fence, its impact on the natural environment, damage to existing landscaping and the money which would be wasted if the existing railings – which are in good condition – were junked.

Separately the Council has announced today that it will commence construction work on the site in two weeks time.

It is writing to residents telling them about a consultation meeting which is taking place next week and which will involve the Wates building contractors

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The Residents Group has responded saying, “We think this is pretty short notice for a consultation event.

The letter includes an evasive reference to “Yorspace” who we understand are still struggling to find funding for their communal living site.

It also pointedly doesn’t admit that the Council have failed to find a developer for their proposed elderly persons care home.

Nothing more either, on the public buildings (Health Centre and Police station) which seem less and less likely now to happen.

This means that there is no chance of building work on the whole site being finished within 2 years”.

Planning application for new St George’s Field car park submitted.

Plans for the new St George’s Field multi-storey car park and coach park have been submitted and are available for viewing and comments as part of the next steps in the Castle Gateway project.

The submission of the planning application for St George’s Field is a major milestone in the delivery of the regeneration of the Castle Gateway. Once complete, the new car park will allow for the permanent closure of Castle Car Park, to create an expanse of new high quality public space for the city.

The relocation of the car parking would also remove a significant number of car journeys from inside the inner ring road, helping residents and visitors get around more sustainably in this part of city.

The planning application has been developed through a range of in depth public engagement events that took place throughout the spring and summer to explore the design options for the multi-storey car park and public spaces..

The new, modern four-storey car park would provide 372 large car parking spaces over 5 levels, with the fifth level of parking situated on the roof. 15 % of the parking spaces will be for electric vehicle charging with the ability to increase these as demand grows.

City of York Council have worked closely with the Environment Agency and  Historic England, to ensure the proposed plans have minimal impact on the functioning floodplain and surrounding heritage, creating high quality architectural design. Vehicle and pedestrian access at first floor level of the car park means it would continue to be in use even when the River Ouse is in flood.

After the planning application has been validated by the council’s planning team in the coming days, it will be available to view at www.york.gov.uk/planning under reference number 19/02063/FULM

Further information can be found on the My Castle Gateway project at www.york.gov.uk/CastleGateway

The new car park would be funded through a new residential development on the site of the now demolished Castle Mills Car Park. As part of the plans a new public bridge spanning the River Foss would connect Piccadilly and the rear of the Castle Museum, opening up a planned cycle and pedestrian route along the river into town.

The planning application for the residential development on the site of the Castle Mills building, providing new riverside apartments for sale, council housing and a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the Foss can be expected later in October.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said:

“The planning application for St George’s Field Car Park marks a key stage in the Castle Gateway regeneration. The Castle Gateway area offers a great opportunity to put family-friendly public spaces, better transport links and places for York businesses at the heart of the city.


“The design of St George’s Field car park is built on extensive public engagement, bringing together the diverse range of opinions on an important part of our city. The application is now open for comments, so please take a look and participate in this important process.”

The proposed building includes living walls, a feature external staircase, and solar panels. New government regulations that have been introduced since the plans were last shared with the public have restricted the use of timber cladding on car parks, so the plans propose an  alternative natural and sustainable material to achieve the same effect alongside the green ‘living’ wall.

30% chance of winning a planning appeal in York

Latest figures published by the York Council suggest that anyone who has a planning application rejected by the local authority has a 30% chance of having the decision reversed on appeal. Appeals are considered by independent inspectors.

The figures reveal that inspectors rejected two appeals against decisions that the planing committee had made and which were in conflict with the recommendations of local planning officers.

One of the these concerned the controversial Spark Container Village who tried to avoid providing cladding on the public frontage of the shipping containers.

Some 18 months after the containers were occupied, the cladding has still not been provided. With the Council still not having advertised the Piccadilly site for sale, there is growing concern that the situation will drift on.

The planning permission for the containers does expire in June 2020 so the matter must come to a head within the next few months.

Plans shared to shape future development on Bootham Park site

A map of the Bootham site showing area ownership

Residents and businesses can have their say on plans which could guide future developments on the former Bootham Park hospital site.

The former hospital site, which includes a series of Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings, is back on the market after a sale fell through earlier this year.

While City of York Council and local health partners do not own the site, they have joined forces to influence the plans of future owners.

The council and the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have included their own land to the north and east of the former hospital to show how a larger site could respond to the healthcare, housing, transport and green space needs of this area and the wider city.

The site development report was produced after consultation late last year, and shows how a sensitive and appropriate development could provide:

  • 147 dwellings
  • 52 key worker apartments
  • a new physiotherapy suite, medical training and research centre of excellence
  • a 70 bed care home
  • 60 assisted living/supported living apartments
  • a new children’s nursery
  • Multi-storey car parking to maintain existing parking capacity and open up the site
  • extensive public open space

Councillor Nigel Ayre, City of York Council executive member for finance and performance, said:

“The consultation last year confirmed how important the Bootham Park Hospital site is to York and its residents.

“It has been a focal point for the community and played a huge role in the city’s healthcare since the hospital building first opened its doors in 1777.

“While we don’t own the site we are exploring how to make sure that future developments respect that heritage and play a part in meeting some of York’s 21st Century challenges.

“So please take a look at the plans, give us your feedback and we’ll use them to influence future owners of the site.”

You have until Friday 11 October to make your comments on all elements of this proposal.

You can see all the details and join the conversation in a number of ways.

Exhibitions (available from Tuesday 17 September)

  • City of York Council’s West Offices, Station Rise, YO1 6GA
  • The foyer of York Hospital, Wigginton Road, YO31 8HE

Meet the team and talk through the proposals at these events:

  • Tuesday 17 September 3pm to 6pm, Marriott Room, York Explore, Library Square, YO1 7DS
  • Saturday 21 September, 1pm to 4pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA
  • Wednesday 25 September, 4pm to 7pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA
  • Tuesday 1 October, 2pm to 5pm, York City Church, Citadel YO31 7EA

You can see all the details and find a link to an online survey (also available from 17 September) through the council website, or join the conversation on social media.

www.york.gov.uk/BoothamPark

facebook      BoothamParkYork 

twitter           @boothamparkyork 

West York neighbourhood planning boundary proposal set to be rejected

The Councils leadership is being recommended to reject a proposal which would have seen a joint neighbourhood plan prepared covering the Acomb and Westfield Wards. The proposal was widely criticised as being ”too big” to meet a key community of interest test.

The majority of respondents to the Councils consultation opposed the plan.

Opponents included the local residents association, an action group and the Westfield ward Councillors. (The Acomb Ward Councillors didn’t respond to the consultation)

A report points out the proposed population of the planning area at 23,440 is 4 x the optimum size of 5500 suggested by central; government legislation.

A council official claims that a parallel proposal to create a “Neighbourhood Forum” could be approved although the report fails to analyse claims that the governance structure of the proposed body is bogus.  The forum was criticised by consultees as introducing unnecessary additional bureaucracy at least in the Westfield area where several residents groups already operate.

The report author concludes that a Neighbourhood Plan, including a revised “forum”, could be approved for the Acomb ward only.

We believe that the plan to exclude the Westfield area is correct.

However the proposal to jump to an “Acomb Ward only” model is premature. Such a move would rule out drawing up a neighbourhood plan for the Front Street area. Part of this district includes the Acomb Ward side of York Road which would be subject to a different plan under the new proposals.

Front Street in older times. This part of Westfield may require better protection.

No consideration has been given to including the area of land between the built-up area and the A1237 northern by pass) in any new arrangements, thereby failing to recognise the importance given by many residents in the area to the protection of open space.

The Council should simply reject the current ill-considered neighbourhood forum and plan proposals which are before it.

New proposals may then emerge which could be subject to re-consultation.

Flood defence plans criticised by amenity body

The Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows (FRM) are objecting to a plan to raise and extend flood barriers on the river Ouse near Rawcliffe.

Rawcliffe Meadows

They say “FRM believe the Environmental Statement is fundamentally flawed and must be comprehensively revised to give an honest and comprehensive account of the likely destruction of and damage to SSSI grassland”.

They go on to say, “There will be adverse impacts on the Cornfield Nature Reserve which are of regional or at least district-wide significance”.

The comments are revealed in a report to next weeks planning committee which is being recommended to approve the Environment Agency proposals .

The report says, “The application is for works to repair and extend the Clifton Ings barrier bank. This is one of the projects within the agencies flood alleviation scheme (FAS) to reduce flood risk throughout the city. £45 million has been allocated to the EA which will upgrade defences in 19 areas (referred to as flood cells).

The objective of the FAS is to protect against the 1 in 100 year flood (1% AEP) plus climate change and where this cannot be achieved then deliver the maximum level of protection in each cell within the context of existing flood risk and considering other environmental, social and cultural aspects.

The purpose of the barrier bank is to reduce flooding from rivers (fluvial flooding) to the Clifton / Rawcliffe area.

However, during the floods in 2000, water from the river outflanked the flood defences, spilled onto Shipton Road and flooded over 100 homes. The flood basin at Blue Beck also exceeded its capacity in 2000. In these instances, the Environment Agency had to provide temporary pumps to reduce flooding upstream on Blue Beck.

The barrier bank was constructed in 1980. It is of earth fill construction and is up to 4.5m high. The embankments on both sides of the River Ouse currently have issues with stability created by high pressure in the banks when the reservoir empties. This has meant that the drawdown rate for the reservoir has had to be reduced from 1,360mm/day to 300mm/day in order to reduce the risk of failure. This reduction in the drawdown rate significantly impacts on the operation and effectiveness of the reservoir as a flood defence, particularly for any consecutive flood events.

Clifton Ings provides a flood storage reservoir on the eastern side of the River Ouse close to Rawcliffe Park and Ride and the sports clubs Clifton Alliance and York. When not flooded, the northern section of Clifton Ings is used for grazing and the southern section is used as open land by the public. A Sustrans cycle route runs through this area.

During high flow events it has a flood capacity of 2,300,000 m3. It is owned and maintained by the Environment Agency.

The Planning Committee is meeting on Thursday at 4:30pm. The meeting will also consider a separate proposal to create a temporary access route into the site.

Site Plans

Multiple occupation planning application withdrawn

Premier Shop Gale Lane

A planning application, which would have seen the residential accommodation above the Premier shop on Gale Lane converted into 5 letting rooms, has been withdrawn.

The proposal was criticised by some residents who feared that 5 separate, unrelated, tenants would generate additional parking problems in the area. There are already issues with inadequate parking on St Stephens Road.

Other criticisms related to the lack of waste bin space and the absence of any cycle storage.

The owners may be permitted to use the first floor accommodation for single family use.