Damage being caused by Hob Moor building works

Residents have raised concerns about  damage to Hob Moor being caused by building works on the former Our Lady’s school site.

Parts of the moor have become waterlogged while local roads and footpaths have been damaged by access traffic.

Several sets of speed humps are now dangerous for cyclists.

Parking on the access road to the site is not possible  forcing vehicles onto local residential roads. In turn this has made access for domestic delivery vehicles awkward.

The York council has yet to confirm that roads and footpaths will be included in the forthcoming years resurfacing programme. In the meantime emergency repairs are required.

Development site next to Hob Moor

Development site next to Hob Moor

Parts of Hob Moor now waterlogged and inaccessible

Parts of Hob Moor now waterlogged and inaccessible

Footpaths and roads dangerous following traffic and utility damage

Footpaths and roads dangerous following traffic and utility damage


Our Lady’s school site – now developers want to pull down railings

click for larger map

click for larger map

Developers plan to tear down Our Lady’s housing site railings.

They say it will improve “permeability”

Retention of the railings was considered to be important by local residents, and supporters of the Hob Moor conservation area, as it provided some guarantee that domestic use would not creep onto the moor.

The railings will also provide good quality security for the gardens of the residents of the new homes.

The railings are relatively new and have a longer life than the proposed close boarded wooden alternative.

Details can be found by clicking here

The Council have not given a date by which residents objections must be received although they hope to determine the new planning application (using delegated powers) on 25th June.

Hob Moor – development work starts on Our Lady’s school site

Our Lady's school site clearance started

Our Lady’s school site clearance started

Builders have moved onto the Our Lady’s school site and have started to fell trees.

The Our Lady’s school buildings will be demolished within the next 3 weeks.

School to be demolished in a few days time

School to be demolished in a few days time

Work has already started to provide an electricity power supply to the new housing development.

The whole scheme, which involves the erection of 55 new homes,  is expected to take about 12 months to complete.

The building contractors have said that all site traffic will follow the Kingsway West/Ascot Way/ Ashford Place/Windsor Garth bus route to access the site.

Crumbling road surfaces on Windsor Garth

Crumbling road surfaces on Windsor Garth

Residents remain concerned about the poor state of the roads on the route, and in particular the rapidly deteriorating road humps, although whether it would be worth completing permanent repairs before the heavy traffic moves on, is open to question.

Latest Planning applications Westfield Ward

Our Lady’s school site latest

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




Location:       16 Ashford Place York YO24 4QU

Proposal:       Erection of single storey extension extending 3.55 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.1 metres and a total height of 2.5 metres

Ref No: 14/01035/LHE

Applicant:      Mr Guler        Contact Mr Jeff Carrington      Consultation Expiry Date        27 May 2014 Case Officer:   Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL


Our Lady’s school site Windsor Garth

Details of the Section 106 agreement for the development of the site have now been published.

They reveal that of the 55 properties to be built on the site, 20 will be for social rent (housing association) while 21 will be at an “affordable” rent (usually 80% of the market rent).

click for more information

click for more information

The agreement allows the developer to pay a commuted sum to the Council instead of providing – through a social landlord – the rented accommodation on site.

The landlord is obliged to offer a free bus pass or free bicycle to the first occupier of the dwelling. Each property will have an external power socket to allow the recharging of electric vehicles.

The agreement also specifies the working hours for the site but is vague about access routes and – critically – to what extent plant will be allowed to move around Hob Moor itself.


Well fancy that

Andrew Waller at the derelict garage site earlier in the week

Andrew Waller at the derelict garage site earlier in the week

Just 24 hours before York’s Labour cabinet were due to answer some embarrassing questions about a garage that had been allowed to fall into dereliction, workmen arrived yesterday to repair it.

The media reported on Monday that the garage on Windsor Garth had been boarded up since 2012.

Andrew Waller pointed out that there was a lack of off road parking available in the area and that the Council was losing a lot of income through failing to repair the garage.

The derelict site was also an eyesore.

Cllr Lynn Jeffries tabled a question on the long running saga which was due to be answered at tonight’s Council meeting.

Newly refurbished garage door on Wednesday

Newly refurbished garage door on Wednesday

Residents seek extra car parking space in Westfield.

Car parking problems growing in Westfield area

Car parking problems growing in Westfield area

Drivers living in the Kingsway West, Windsor Garth and St Stephen’s Road areas have started a campaign aimed at persuading the Council to restart its car park provision programme.


The programme, which provided dropped kerbs/verge crossovers and parking lay bys, was a victim of Labours cuts to ward committee budgets in 2011.

Although some work has continued using tenants estate improvement budget funds, provision has fallen behind demand.

Some spaces intended for residents use on Ascot Way are being monopolised by visitors.

Now additional pressure is being felt by on street parking spaces as the Council moves to redevelop garage areas while parking restrictions, on the link access to the new development on the Our Lady’s school site, seem inevitable.

In the meantime some drivers are parking on grass verges causing considerable damage and disfiguring the neighbourhood.

Windsor Garth development proposals put on hold

Our Lady's school site

Our Lady’s school site

The proposal to build 56 additional homes on the site of the former Our Lady’s school on Windsor Garth was tonight deferred for further consideration.

Concerns were expressed about the high density of the layout, the lack of play facilities or community space, the poor sustainability features of the homes plus the need to retain the existing metal security railings.

It is likely that a refined design will be submitted to a Planning Committee meeting next year.

Hob Moor development to go ahead?

Derelict school site next to Hob Moor

Derelict school site next to Hob Moor

Apparently Council officials are recommending that the 56 home development at the Our Lady’s school site be given the “go ahead”.

This despite a large number of objections and the proposal being in conflict with the Councils own rules on development densities.

The number of homes being proposed is almost twice the number agreed by the same planning department when they published the draft Local Plan earlier in the year.

It will be interesting to see how they manage to justify that particular policy somersault!

The planning application will be decided at the Planning-Committee meeting on 21 November 2013, at 4.30pm at West Offices, Station Rise, York.

The committee will visit the site at 12:45 pm on the Tuesday (17th November) before the meeting to familiarise themselves with the proposal and residents are also invited to attend.

Residents have the right to speak at the meeting. If you wish to speak, you must register this by telephoning (01904) 552062, and ask for Laura Bootland before 5:00pm on the last working day before the Committee meeting.

The proposal has been mired in controversy since a Labour cabinet member (Clr Merrett) publicly endorsed the scheme shortly after the planning application had been submitted, but before residents had been given the opportunity to comment.

York Labour Councillors reveal cunning plan?

Site capacity for new homes - draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Site capacity for new homes – draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Labour Councillor Dave Merrett seems to have overstepped accepted guidelines when welcoming a planning application for the Our Lady’s school site.

He was quoted in the local paper as supporting a plan to build 56 homes on the site – almost double the number allocated in the Local Plan that Cllr Merrett approved in the spring.

If approved at the meeting on 21st November, the proposal would mean that the green space, school nature reserve and children’s playground will all be lost.

Normally executive Councillors avoid commenting publicly on planning applications once they have been submitted. They allow normal consultation with residents to take place before a cross party planning committee meeting decides on the merits of each proposal.

A public intervention by an executive Councillor could be deemed to be putting undue pressure on the planning officers who work in his department and who will author reports recommending approval or rejection of an application.

Officials are understood to have said already that the density on the development – at 82 homes per hectare based on the existing built footprint- is in excess of what would normally be permitted in a sub-urban location.

Meanwhile the Council Leader is also interfering in the planning processes.

Following on from his public opposition to converting unused shops into residential accommodation, he told the last Council meeting, when questioned about the higher number of housing units coming forward on brownfield sites that,

sessions site

sessions site

“the important distinction between the positions of the Liberal Democrats, and the Conservatives it has to be said, is that the other parties believe those living in central wards should have housing built on any spare piece of land anywhere near them and outer wards should continue to enjoy protection against any development anywhere near them”.

“The truth is housing should be built in both central and outer areas where it can be shown to contribute to tackling the city’s housing crisis at the same time as protecting residents’ local amenity”.

In fact over recent months it is central area sites that are seeing high densities proposed with Our Lady’s school only the latest in a long line which includes the former Press offices in Walmgate, the Burnholme club and several dozen others.

The Council Leader may, however, be confused about what constitutes “central wards”.

NB. The Planning committee will consider next week a proposal to build 59 homes on the former Sessions site on Huntington Road. Of these 20% will be “affordable”

The density of the proposed development is just over 32 dwellings per hectare, and would be more densely developed than the surrounding residential areas. However this figure appears to be in conflict with the figures shown in the draft Local Plan.

The draft Local plan showed only 17 homes being built on this (0.47 hectare) site