Westfield Councillors to debate what to do about building works at public meeting tomorrow


Bowling club building site not on the agenda?

The Westfield Councillors are right to insist on more information being provided on building works in the area, when they meet tomorrow (Wednesday)

However, they will be meeting only a few metres away from the spoil heaps and site compound which has been constructed on the Council owned land to the rear of the Library.

Large spoil heap on Council land at the Acomb Library

Some explanation for the decision to allow the contractors to use this Council owned site will be expected. It is an issue that is not likely to go away.

Some residents still hope that Council will offer some sort of compensation for the problems that have been caused by the use of the compound

Elsewhere, the Lowfields development saga continues.

There has still not been any explanation about how the York Council came to mislead residents about the inclusion of a “police station” and health centre/GP surgery in the original consultation plans.

Both these promises turned out to be bogus. It is unclear what will happen to what, otherwise, will be unused plots on the east of the site.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Carriageway-cracking-on-Kingsway-West-1300hrs-5th-May-2019-.jpg
The Kingsway West carriageway is already breaking up

On Ascot Way, access arrangements, for the heavy plant needed to complete the demolition of Windsor House, remain unclear. It seems that access for the plant will be via Kingsway West and Ascot Way It is clear that the roads are too narrow in the area to avoid major damage to adjacent verges and paths. A “one way” system has been suggested but not confirmed.

There are real concerns that the bus route will be obstructed by the likely congestion

The original hope had been that more parking lay-bys would have been provided by now.

…..and the problem of the promised replacement for the all weather games area seems to be no closer to resolution. The existing MUGA has already been converted into a building compound.

Games area is now a building compound. No alternative provision for children has been provided

There is no word about the proposed alternative site on the Thanet Road Sports Area although officials were asked to follow this up 3 months ago.

Residents will no doubt be hoping that some answers emerge from the meeting

Spoil heaps dominate neighbouring properties on Lowfields Drive

Another planning forum for Westfield – we think not

The York Council has started consultation on whether to recognise an “Acomb and Westfield Neighbourhood Forum”

A small group of residents, mainly living in the Front Street area, want to establish a “neighbourhood plan”. It would supplement the Councils own Local Plan which will be subject to a public hearing over the summer months.

Proposed neighbourhood plan area (Acomb and Westfield)

Unfortunately, the area they hope to cover includes the whole of the Acomb and Westfield wards (approximately 10,000 homes). It would stretch from Foxwood to Boroughbridge Road, encompassing a disparate group of neighbourhoods with little obvious community of interest.

If agreed, it would be by far the largest such plan in the York area. In the main those plans that have been approved cover smaller villages. All have a shared commonality of interests.

Westfield is not short of groups which seek to influence Council policy.

There are several Residents Associations, a “planning panel” (which scrutinises planning applications), a “ward team” and a “ward committee” together with several “action groups” which tend to focus on stimulating, or preventing, specific developments.

Adding an additional tier of representation, although only a consultative body, would involve additional costs and could lead to confusion about roles and responsibilities.

When it comes down to it, Foxwood has little in common with Chapelfields or the Gladstone Street area.

It has even less shared interest with Ouse Acres and vice versa. Arguably Foxwood has more in common with the Woodthorpe area.

In our view, this proposal represents an unwelcome diversion and could take resources away from the key task of raising public service standards in the area. Residents Associations are bested suited – and of the right scale – to identify changes that need to be made in local neighbourhoods.

They deserve more Council support.

In most built up sub-urban areas, there is little scope for redevelopment anyway with the focus being to retain existing open spaces. There is an opportunity for more public open space on land lying between the existing development and the A1237 bypass. The proposed Neighbourhood Plan boundaries exclude this land from consideration.

Ward Councillors are already aware of the need to move the extra public open space issue forward.

Front Street in older times. This part of Westfield may require better protection from developers in the light of the current problems at the Bowling Club building site.

There may be a case for a neighbourhood plan covering the Acomb village conservation area and its immediate environs.

The “forum” organisers would be wise to focus on a smaller area like this – where there may be a need for more clarity on its future – rather than try to “boil the, proverbial, ocean”.

In the meantime residents should email the Council to oppose this unnecessary proposal.

neighbourhoodplanning@york.gov.uk

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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189 Kingsway West York YO24 4QD

Erection of single storey extension extending 4 metres beyond rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.67 metres and a total height of 3.57 metres. 

Ref. No: 19/01127/LHE 

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4 Croftside York YO26 5LT

Single storey rear extension and rear dormer. 

Ref. No: 19/00980/FUL 

———-

Dryfix Preservation Ltd The Yard Tudor Road York YO24 3AY

Change of use from electrical storage only (Use Class B8) to unrestricted storage, open air storage and distribution (Use Class B8)

Ref. No: 19/00966/FUL 

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94 Wetherby Road Acomb York YO26 5BY

Single storey rear extension 

Ref. No: 19/00867/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

Really disappointing that potholes take so long to repair

Some potholes in York, reported weeks ago, have still not been filled. This is the time of year when the Council normally catches up on the pothole backlog which can develop during periods of icy weather.

The York Council doesn’t provide “real time” updates on the number of highway defect reports it receives and the progress made in addressing them, but there is a suspicion that some are written off without any action being taken.

Fortunately the LibDems, who lead the new administration at West Offices, promised in their election manifesto “to reconstruct all roads in York”.

Even allowing for hyperbole, that is a very expensive looking promise. Perhaps Council officials had better get on with drawing up a work programme?

Herman Walk potholes on access road
Corlett Court potholes (marked but not repaired)
Morrell Court has n uneven road

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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Lincoln Court Ascot Way York YO24 4RA

Proposal      Conditions 4,7,8,16,17,19,20 & 21 of 19/00083/FULM

Reference   AOD/19/00165

NB. Refers to Condition 4 – Boundary Treatments. Proposed Site Plan Condition 7 – Slight amendments to car parking arrangements. Proposed Site Plan Condition 8 – Electric Car Charging Points. Proposed Site Plan Condition 16 & 17 – Bats & Contamination.

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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

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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Acomb Bowling Club Front Street York YO24 3BZ

Conditions 3,4,5,6,8,9,& 19 of 18/00586/FULM 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00169 

Relates to signed acceptance form; Phase 2 Site investigation report on archaeology; a Site Archaeology Ltd survey report on the significance of existing buildings, a contamination report and a highways dilapidations report.

The developers have discharged a condition requiring a record to be kept of the buildings that were on the site together with their history. A separate report charts the development of Acomb since Roman times. No reference is made to the controversial work taking place on the adjacent “old allotments” site, which is under investigation by planning enforcement officials

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Hob Moor Community Primary School Green Lane Acomb York YO24 4PS

Conditions 3,6,7,8,8a,8b,12,13,14 and 15 of 18/01475/GRG3 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00168 

Relates to archaeology

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23 Otterwood Lane York YO24 3JP

Single storey side extension 

Ref. No: 19/00889/FUL 

——

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

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

Hungry children in York?

A national research organisation has published statistics which is claims means there are still pockets of “child poverty” in the City.

The new LibDem led Council will be expected to make an early difference in this area.

We have long campaigned for the York Council to devote more resources to improving public services in poorer neighbourhoods. The symptoms of derivation include lower life expectancy levels and poor health. The latter is often connected to the availability of healthy living facilities and advice.  Obesity levels in children are also an issue in many areas.

The report published by “End Child Poverty” uses national data to estimate the likelihood of child poverty in each ward in the City.

This data is tabulated. Hull road, Guildhall and Westfield are the three most vulnerable areas.

Child poverty rates in York wards

York is far from being the most needy City in the country.

….but there is sufficient objective and anecdotal evidence to suggest that local policies are failing.

The new Council could make a start by withdrawing the threat to build on open spaces and sports facilities in the Westfield area.

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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One application would see a major change to the design of replacement buildings at the site of 61a Gale Lane. Planning permission for the demolition of the bungalow was sought in 2017. Now it is to be replaced by 8 flats and 2 semi detached bungalows. There may be issues with parking provision and traffic generation on what is a busy junction. ——-

61A Gale Lane York YO24 3AD

Erection of no.8 one bedroom apartments and no.2 two bedroom semi-detached bungalows following demolition of existing bungalow.

Ref. No: 19/00583/FULM 

61A Gale Lane 2017 plans
61A Gale Lane 2019 plans

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Replacement buildings 61A Gale Lane frontage view

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Lincoln Court Ascot Way York

Condition 13 (foul and surface water drainage)- 19/00083/FULM 

Ref. No: AOD/19/00147 

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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