UPDATE Controversy over homeless plan in residential area

UPDATE: We understand that this planning application is being withdrawn. We are happy to point out that the Restore charity rents an office at the Gateway Church premises on Front Street but is otherwise not connected with that organisation.

Councillors on 6th June will consider a planning application to convert a property in St Stephens Road into homeless accommodation.  

Four bedrooms in the semi-detached property will be let to individuals who are judged to be currently homeless. The application is associated with the Gateway Church in Acomb and is part of their “Restore” programme

St Stephens Road

It is unclear from where the clientele, intended to be accommodated there, will come from. A few years ago, a similar application to provide accommodation for former offenders in a property in  Tithe Close also raised concerns.

Several residents have objected to the plan which involves declaring the property a “House in Multiple Occupation” (HMO). HMOs have a long history of controversy in parts of York with family accommodation being converted to meet the demands of the City’s burgeoning student population.

Maintenance issues prompted the Council a few years ago to specify the maximum proportion of HMOS that there could be in a neighbourhood. This was an attempt to retain “balanced” communities”.

The number of HMOS in the St Stephens Road area – which is some distance from the nearest higher education facility – is not an issue. There is only one other property nearby which has the designation.

Rather residents concerns have focused on the transient nature of the likely occupants of the  property. They are concerned that few will stay long enough to become integrated into, what is, a tight knit community.

Of course, we will never “solve” the problem of homelessness if permanent accommodation options are not made available to those who fall on difficult times. So, initiatives like these are generally to be welcomed.

The charity operates outside the direct control of the local authority and therefore has a responsibility to be accountable to the local community.

The effectiveness of their management and communications is likely to be under scrutiny if the planning application is – as expected – approved.

Residents can attended and register to speak at the meeting taking place on 6th June.

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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Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Condition 2 – 17/02429/OUTM

Self build code for 6 plots. Specifies maximum 12 months build period

Ref. No: AOD/19/00161 

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Former Lowfield School Dijon Avenue York

Conditions 10, 13 & 37 of 17/02428/FULM 

Revised plans for boundary treatments, fencing, open space plan, highway works on Dijon Avenue,  highway works Tudor Road and similar details.  

Ref. No: AOD/19/00160 

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Windsor House 22 Ascot Way York YO24 4QZ

Conditions 16,19 & 21 of 18/01467/GRG3 

Relates to drainage plans.  Construction traffic management plan (Access via Ascot Way for delivery lorries using a one-way system! Worker car parking at Hob Moor school, bus stop moved temporarily along Ascot Way), replacement school playing pitches (at York R I)

Ref. No: AOD/19/00159 

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17 Foxwood Lane York YO24 3LH

Fell Ash tree protected by Tree Preservation Order no. 3. 

Ref. No: 19/00907/TPO 

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15 The Reeves York YO24 3ES

Single storey rear extension. 

Ref. No: 19/00726/FUL 

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56 St Stephens Road York YO24 3EQ

Change of use from dwelling (use class C3) to a House in Multiple Occupation (use class C4). 

Ref. No: 19/00562/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/

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

Police message following suspicious activity in St Stephens Road

At approximately 0500 hours on Saturday 29th December 2018, 3 males were found in a garden on St Stephens Road.

It is suspected that the males were intending to break into the house.

Fortunately the males were disturbed by the occupant and they made off.

Please can we ask that you review your home and garden security, and also report any suspicious activity by dialling 999 in an emergency or 101 non emergency.

Officers quickly responded to the area but the males could not be found.

St Stephens Road arson incident

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are reporting that a fire was started deliberately on St Stephens Road this morning.

According to the Service the attack involved  a “wheelie bin on fire against the external doors of a 2 storey block of flats.

Resulted in fire damage to wheelie bin, slight fire damage to doors and light smoke damage to entrance foyer.

The cause is deliberate”

You can follow the Fire Serviceby clicking here  & via Twitter here @NorthYorksFire

Weather has impact on services in York

High winds have been blamed for he increase in litter seen today. Insecure recycling has been blown around many suburbs with the Council struggling to catch up on their collection schedules post New Year.

Full litter bin on Bellhouse Way

Leaf and tree detritus in gutters on Askham Croft

Litter blown by high winds today in St Stephens Road

Surface water problem at junction of Ashford Place and Ascot Way

Waterlogged verges are being damaged by vehicles

Speed check results for St Stephens Road

Speed checks have been carried out on St Stephens Road following complaints from local residents.

The road has a 20 mph speed limit.

The checks revealed a mean (average) speed of 23/21 mph.

The “85%ile” speeds were 27/26.

(The “85%ile” removes the highest 7.5% and lowest 7.5% of speeds recorded and is generally thought to be the speed limit that a typical driver will respect).

Although the speeds are above the current limit they are fairly typical of sub-urban roads. As we have seen elsewhere, the 20 mph limit has had little impact on driver behaviour.

The mean speeds of course may disguise a small number of drivers who may be exceeding the speed limit by a large margin, but the police do not have the resources to routinely deploy to address this possibility.

The authorities say that the street may be suitable for use of Community Speed Watch”. This is a system operated by local residents, but it would require suitable volunteers to come forward.

 

 

York Council making good progress with re-roofing works at blocks of flats

The Council re-roofing contractors are making good progress on the blocks of flats in St Stephens Road area.The blocks in that road are scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

The programme will then  move into Thoresby Road and The Reeves with work there scheduled to finish at the end of July.

The programme will then move on to High Moor Road, Wains Road, Thanet Road and Dringfield Close before moving on towards the City centre. The programme is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

York Council neglecting problems with speeding traffic?

Following the embarrassing failure of the 20 mph speed limit project (where on many roads average speeds were found to have risen following the installation of the new signs) it appears that the York Council is turning a blind eye to speeding problems.

Wetherby Road VAS

Wetherby Road VAS

Many residents had pointed out that risks were greatest at locations where motorists routinely exceeded 40 mph.

Despite this, the Councils web page, which is devoted to addressing speeding concerns, has not been kept up to date.

The page (click to access) claims to provide links to an “on line” Police form that can be completed by those wanting vehicle speeds checked. In fact the links are broken (although you can access the form direct by clicking here).

Nor is the Council reporting back on the results of speed checks that have been undertaken. The last list dates from November 2015 but does not include any speed data

There are several problem locations in west York.

These  include St Stephens Road while the frequent activation of the Vehicle Activated warning  Signs on Wetherby Road and Green Lane suggests that many drivers still do not stay within the 30 mph limit.

North Yorks speed camera vanThe Police have 3 safety camera vans. However they tend to visit the same locations in the York area on a regular basis. Clearly they can be assured of regular fine income from sites like those on the A64, but this is at the expense of high profile “reassurance checks” in residential areas.

Recent figures suggest that the vans now concentrate mainly on the A64 and A59 near York.

The Police have singularly failed to produce statistics which confirm whether deployment of the vans has reduced accident rates on particular stretches of road.

Nor do they report whether average speeds have been reduced at sites that they visit regularly.

So, all in all, we think that the speed awareness partnership needs to up its game in and around the City.