Solar farm planned for Knapton Moor

Solar Farm site click to enlarge

Solar Farm site click to enlarge

1.8 hectares of land off Wetherby Road (Site 772) could be turned into a solar farm. The area of land is located near to Harewood Whin.

The Council report indicates what criteria have to be met by these farms which generate electricity from solar panels (similar in principle to those now found on many household roofs).

They are not as controversial as wind farms, being silent and relatively unobtrusive. Security at the sites is high though.

Similar sites are planned for Malton Road and Towthorpe

Housing building sites – more information released on threats to green field sites

Wetherby Road site. Click to enlarge

Wetherby Road site. Click to enlarge

The York Council has released more details of the assessments that it has made of requests by landowners for particular sites to be considered for development.

They include assessments for some sites, which were rejected, and are not being considered at its meetings on the 17th April  and 23rd April 2014

They are relevant though in so far as they provide an indication of the landowner’s development aspirations. They are likely to reappear at the Public Inquiry later in the year when owners will try to have additional development land added to the Plan.

Lowfields school playing fields threat click to enlarge

Lowfields school playing fields threat click to enlarge

39 sites, including one off Askham Lane, were rejected because they failed to respect the natural environment; two were rejected because they were on open space, while 21 had poor transport links and/or access to services

The proposals included the land (site ref 220) on Wetherby Road – near Knapton – originally suggested as a “Showman’s Yard” site. Now the owners want to build housing there. Worryingly the reason given by the Council officials for opposing development is the “lack of public transport”. No mention is made of its green belt credentials.

26 sites failed a “technical evaluation”. These included land to the west of Chapelfields (ref 778) which was rejected on grounds of landscape value and potential archaeology.

Land near Chapelfields under threat of development. click to enlarge

Land near Chapelfields under threat of development. click to enlarge

There is a similar list of sites rejected for Employment/Retail use.

Askham Bryan freight depot click to enlarge

Askham Bryan freight depot click to enlarge

Council officials have reviewed  development boundaries at several sites put forward last year.

Notably a plan by the Council itself to build on the playing fields of Lowfields School (as well as on the previously developed footprint of the school buildings) has been rejected.

Officials point out that the field enjoys a lot of informal recreational use.

They do, however, rather ominously claim that the playing fields may in future be “taken over” by a private sports club!

Officials also rule out the development of even more of the open space between Woodthorpe, Foxwood, Chapelfields and the ring roads (site 791) and the rest of Acomb Moor (site 792) although the partial development of the moor still remains part of the draft Plan.

Approved proposals include a “freight transhipment” and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) site on land between the A1237 and Askham Bryan. Although currently well screened by trees this is an elevated site which would be visible from several miles.

Another Harewood Whin odour warning for Acomb- Residents alerted about landfill works

PEOPLE living in the vicinity of a landfill site near York are being alerted they may experience a temporary odour in the air as work begins to restore another section of the site

The warning from operator Yorwaste comes a year after similar odour problems were reported by resident living in the Wetherby Road area.

Harewood Whin

In a media release the company says, “Yorwaste is currently undertaking work to restore a large area of completed landfill in the central part of their Harewood Whin site. This involves sealing the exposed waste with clay to control leachate generation and prevent landfill gas emissions.

The work can create disturbance, hence why the company is keen to alert residents in advance.

As part of this process new pipes have to be installed to collect the gas that is produced by waste in the landfill and it is at this stage that people living nearby may notice a slight and occasional odour.

Yorwaste says it is working as quickly but safely as possible to carry out this work, which will take place at various periods in October, and that the installation of the gas pipes should be completed by the end of November.

Steve Grieve, Managing Director of Yorwaste, said:

“We would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience this work may cause to people living near Harewood Whin but it is important to stress that this work is essential and is necessary to avoid a repeat of last winter’s problems.

“As waste breaks down in a landfill it starts to produce a methane gas. This gas can be captured and converted into green electricity which is then exported directly to the national grid, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

“The planning and implementation of this work has been done in consultation with our regulator, the Environment Agency, and whilst there may be some short-term inconvenience, they are outweighed by the longer term environmental benefits.”