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

Abandoned bus shelters – future uncertain

The future of the bus shelters on Tudor Road, which have not had a service for over 2 years, remains uncertain.

Not surprisingly the shelters are in good condition.

There is a site, at the Gale Lane end, which could accommodate a shelter, and which does lie on the now clockwise route taken by the number 4 service.

There are no notices in the shelters (or on the bus stop signs) indicating that the bus service only serves the opposite side of the road.

Even then the alternative bus stops are a testing sprint away.

Anyone texting the bus stop identification code to the information service gets a text back saying that no service is expected within the next 4 hours.

4 years more likely.

If you text for information it will cost you 12p

The stop reference (e.g.  32900872) produces no useful information when keyed into the “Bus York” mobile phone app. See  https://www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/free-bus-apps/

Many people living in the Tudor Road area would prefer to see a 2-way service reintroduced.

If such a change is not imminent, the Council and bus service providers need to initiate a review of the quality of bus stop information, and shelter arrangements, that they provide in the area.

Abandoned bus shelters can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so some prompt action is required.

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

York Council sold land to “Yorspace” without affordable homes conditions

A response to a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the Council DID NOT require, that the land it sold at Lowfields to the “Yorspace” commune, must be used to provide affordable housing.

The land was sold for £300,000 – approximately 50% below its open market value.

A smaller plot of land at the other end of the Lowfields school site is currently being marketed for offers over £400,000.

The discounted sale  decision was taken in private by a Council official.

The Council claims that they had an independent valuation made on the site. They don’t say on what basis they discounted the value.

They did, however, depend on  Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972 to dispose of the land at below market value. It was assumed – but not transparently recorded in the decision notice – that this was to facilitate the provision of more affordable housing.

This assumption was brought into question when a Council Housing Officer said, in response to Yorspace’s planning application to build 19 units on the 0.785 acre site, that the new homes could not be counted as “affordable”

The FOI response goes on to say, “This valuation was for a plot of land for community build housing with utility connections and a road to the edge of the site. Therefore, the price to be paid by Yorspace includes an allowance for infrastructure works. Yorspace will be paying for the construction of the car parking bays which are within their proposed red line ownership boundary”.

 “Any areas of road and parking will belong to Yorspace and it will be   their responsibility to maintain this. However, the public footpath in this area is likely to become adopted highway and therefore maintained by the council”.

Clearly there are “smoke and mirrors”  aspects to this transaction which will require the attention of the Auditors.

Another option for the Council would have been to develop the site itself to provide 19 more Council homes. The homes could then have been let direct to those on the housing waiting list. The Council has more freedom now to borrow to fund new Council homes.

NB. Despite some new builds, “Right to Buy” applications have seen the Council housing stock in York reduce from 7728 in 2016 to 7617 two years later.

Clockhouse pub on Kingsway West faces closure

Council committee to consider revoking license on 8th April

The Clockhouse pub, which is located on the corner of Kingsway West and Tudor Road, could face closure. An application has been made for the premises license to be revoked.

Clockhouse Pub

 It follows two years of complaints from nearby residents. Most related to excessive noise from the premises.

The Clockhouse is probably better known by its former name; The Acomb Hotel.

It has been a feature of the social life of the west of York for over 70 years.

 It has changed a lot over the years as it has had to come to terms with the changing expectations of sub-urban drinkers.

Relatively recently it has majored on improved outdoor areas with children now well catered for.

But it is the evening activities that have led to the licencing hearing. Many complaints have been registered by nearby residents. Sound levels have been unacceptably high with open doors and windows contributing to the problem.

In October 2018 fines and costs totalling £4889.26 were levied against the establishment by magistrates.

There have since been further complaints.

A list of the conditions attached to the licence can be viewed by clicking  here

The Clocktower event rooms are very close to adjacent properties. Ironically some were built on part of the former hotel site.

It is this proximity which may lead to a further change in role for the building.

Good progress with installing parking lay bys in Westfield this week

After seemingly years of inactivity, the Council has made good progress in installing new, off street, parking spaces over the last few weeks. The funding for the bays was made available from delegated ward budgets and the “housing estate improvement programme”. More work is needed, but hopefully the new budgets, which will be available from Monday, will allow more speedy progress to be made over the next year.

Following the completion of a new bay to serve Spurr Court on the Foxwood estate, parking space for 4 vehicles has now been provided near the Askham Lane flats. Whether the Council was wise not to relocate the tees to allow for larger capacity bays to be installed may be open to debate!
Next up is Danesfort Avenue where a large bay is under construction. It will serve the flat occupants in a location where there are “on stree”t parking restrictions.
Work should begin next week on providing bays at two locations on Windsor Garth. These were locations chosen by local residents following consultation. The first, above, is opposite the entrance to Kempton Close.
The second bay will be at the side of the road which leads to Hob Stones. In the same area we have asked that a street nameplate be provided on Windsor Garth indicating the way to Hob Stone Court.
The final improvement, which we know to be imminent, is the provision of 3 additional lay-bys on Tudor Road.

Lowfields problems continue

No response yet from the site liaison officer following residents’ concerns about delivery arrangements at the Lowfields development site.  Concerns about the impact that the large spoil mountains are having on the local environment have also still to be addressed.
Spoil mountains growing at Lowfields

At a planning committee meeting earlier in the week some progress was made on the plans to create 5 new parking spaces on Tudor Road.

The Lowfields Action Group Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LowfieldsActionGroup/ reports that officials have confirmed that the contractor responsible for building the new access road will also construct the parking spaces as part of the same contract. Although they said that the work would be done “at the same time” no planning condition was included requiring the 3 new “on street” parking spaces to be constructed before the existing ones are lost.

The Council as both the owner and developer of the site could have offered a unilateral agreement on this but failed to do so.

Cllr Andrew Waller was the only Westfield ward representative to speak up on behalf of residents. He said that the parking spaces to the rear of 108 Tudor Road were too close to the property. He also asked that improvements be made at the Tudor Road /Gale Lane junction.

The discussion about the Yorspace development was a disappointing.  Councillors completely failed to challenge the claim that the proposed homes will be “affordable”. The developer claims they will be “affordable” The Councils own housing officer has confirmed that they will not.

This contradiction remains unexplained.

A Freedom of Information request on a related issue is still outstanding. A response is due on Monday,

No convincing answers given on car parking arrangements. The 12 spaces will not be adequate to cater for the needs of all occupiers and visitors. Overflow parking will therefore further compromise space on Tudor Road, Green Lane and Kingsthorpe. The developers say that occupiers of the building “will not be allowed to own a car” and that all vehicles using the provided spaces will be “communally owned”.

We doubt very much whether they will be able to enforce such a rule.

The only good thing to come out of the debate was an offer from the developer to look again at boundary treatments. They seem to be backing away for the idea of removing the railings. The railings offer good security while permitting the movement of small mammals like hedgehogs.

Busy week for the York planning committee

Big planning decisions in York

York Central

York Central

The largest proposal concerns the land to the rear of the railway station. Known as “York Central” redevelopment of the area has been on the cards for nearly two decades. It has finally reached the planning application stage. The report recommends that the plans be forwarded to the Secretary of State for endorsement. The plans have attracted some opposition, but the economic and social welfare of the City depends on making some progress on the site now. Hopefully some of the ill judged ideas such as having only one-way traffic through the Marble Arch tunnel can be changed at a later stage.

Lowfields

‘dozer wrecks playing field

There is already a lot of local disquiet about the way that the Council are implementing their plans for this area. Many of the comments on the “Save Lowfields Playing Field” Facebook page are from disgruntled local residents who, even at this early stage, point to conflicts between lorries and parked cars, muddy roads and the ripping out of trees and hedges.

They are asking that the new parking spaces promised for Tudor Road be constructed before the existing parking lay-by is lost as an access road is constructed.

Yorspace proposed development plan, Lowfields

Further along the road, the Yorspace” application has been heavily criticised by local residents. The main concerns related to the lack of affordable units proposed on the site, the impact on the natural environment including inappropriate boundary treatments, security concerns relating to the adjacent public snicket access to little Tudor Road, the proposal to remove the railings which protect adjacent properties,  inadequate car parking provision  and the impact that overspill parking by residents, families and visitors could have on neighbouring streets and the height of the buildings.

Council officials have revealed that they have approved 5 outstanding conditions, for activities on the building site, despite several objections.

Lincoln Court

Lincoln Court.

The Council has made an embarrassing series of mistakes on the proposal to extend this independent living building. Even now they have published papers which imply (wrongly) that the new apartments  will be classified as “Extra Care” units. It has had plenty of time to clarify that issue.

There is some hope now that the future of the adjacent games area will be secured. Local Councillors are understood to have taken the initiative to discuss moving the facility to the local rugby club ground. If so, that would be a good solution to a problem which has also raised concerns from Sport England, and the resident’s association.

Other applications

All applications are recommended for approval

Yorspace” development set to get planning permission

…but concerns remain about parking, security, affordability and funding

Council officials are recommending that 19 homes, to be built by the “Yorspace” cooperative on part of the Lowfield site, should be given planning permission.

Yorspace plans

A report to a meeting taking place on 20th March reveals that objections to the plan were received from local residents and the Save Lowfields Playing Field Action Group  who were concerned about the height of the buildings, security, inadequate car parking, boundary fences and the lack of affordable housing in the proposal.  Some residents have questioned the actions of the Council in selling the plot of land, which is located near little Tudor Road, for 1/3 of its market value.

The latter objection has been reinforced since it was revealed that there will be no “affordable” units provided on the site. Rents will be at commercial levels. The rent on a one bedroomed flat will be around £520 pcm rising to over £880 pcm for a 4 bedroomed house. These are comparable to the rents charged by private landlords in the area.

It will be for the Councils auditors to say whether the sale is a legitimate one but, given the numbers on the local housing waiting list, it is difficult to see why the Council did not either develop the land itself (as it is doing elsewhere on Lowfields) or ask a Housing Association to take the project  on.

In either case rents would have been around half the commercial level.

One issue that has not been resolved is the proposal to restrict the number of off-street parking spaces to 12. This is less than one per property. Many 4 bedroomed homes now have 2 or 3 vehicle owners living in the property. The concern is that “overspill” car parking will put further pressure on spaces in Tudor Road, Kingsthorpe and the rest of the new Lowfields development.

The developers hope the availability of good bus services in the area will reduce car usage. However, the number 4 service only travels one way down Tudor Road.

Any parent will know the pressure that teenagers, upon reaching driving age, can exert as they seek to get their first personal transport. So the cooperatives “issue resolution processes” are likely to be fully tested if they seek to restrict car ownership at their properties.

The planning committee meeting is taking place on Wednesday 20th March at 5:00pm at West Offices. Residents may make representations by registering to speak at the meeting &/or by Email to Christopher.elliott@york.gov.uk

More parking spaces to be provided on Tudor Road

The Council has relented in the face of pressure from local residents and has agreed to provide an additional 3 off street parking spaces on Tudor Road.

Location of proposed additional verge parking spaces on Tudor Road

The original plans only showed two spaces being provided in the rear garden of a block of flats. Now this is being increased by three. They will be constructed on the verges about halfway down the road.

The plan goes some way to compensating for the three spaces which will be lost when the access road for the Lowfield development is constructed.

Even two extra spaces will not be enough to satisfy the pent up demand which is already apparent in the area with verges and forecourts being pressed into service as impromptu parking areas.

The parking problem is likely to get worse when the new development is occupied. The “Yorspace” section of the development site has been criticised as it will only provide 12 parking spaces for 19 new homes. This may force some occupiers to park on Tudor Road

Separately the Council has now revealed that the “Yorspace” homes will not be categorised as “affordable”.  This calls into question why the land for the development was sold by the Council at a heavily discounted rate. The discount means that taxpayers will effectively be subsidising the occupiers of the properties although in some cases they may be relativity wealthy individuals.