Have your say on Moor Lane green belt proposal

In our recent FOCUS newsletter we set out details of the draft Local Plan for York that the joint administration has developed.

We are pleased that the draft plan, if approved, would see land off Moor Lane given proper Green Belt protection. This is great news, after the previous Labour administration in York proposed initially that the land be built on, and then said that it should be ‘safeguarded’ for future development.

Moor Lane field

So whilst we may have won this battle, we haven’t yet won the war. The draft Local Plan is now out for consultation, and if residents want to see the land off Moor Lane given Green Belt protection, they need to make your views known by responding to the consultation.

We now know that developers are fighting the proposed designation of this land as Green Belt – Barwood Development Securities Ltd are promoting an alternative plan that would see a staggering 1,250 homes built all the way from the railway line to the ring road roundabout. You can read more about these worrying proposals on at http://tinyurl.com/zst8bqr

This new threat makes it even more important that residents respond to the consultation to express support for the council’s draft Local Plan.

The consultation runs until 12th September, and there are lots of ways to take part:

  • You can go to www.york.gov.uk/localplan to view the Local Plan proposals and complete an online form
  • You can e-mail localplan@york.gov.uk
  • You can write to Freepost RTEG-TYYU-KLTZ, Local Plan, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York YO1 6GA
  • A special copy of the council’s ’Our City’ newsletter will also be arriving on doormats shortly, summarising the consultation information and providing a freepost response form

There will also be a drop-in exhibition at Tesco Askham Bar on Wednesday 24th August from 3pm to 7.30pm.

This consultation is about the draft Local Plan that the council is proposing, not about the Barwood proposals. It is vital that as individuals, and as a community, we express our support for the plan to give land off Moor Lane proper Green Belt protection.

Tesco Community Event

Stephen and Ashley helped to run a non-political ‘meet your local councillor’ stall at the Tesco Askham Bar community event on Sunday 24th July.

Tesco community day

They were joined by councillors from neighbouring Westfield (Sheena Jackson and Andrew Waller) and Rural West (Chris Steward) wards. And Lord Mayor Cllr Dave Taylor (Green, Fishergate ward) also dropped in.

Main topics of discussion were the draft Local Plan currently out for consultation, and street-level services.

Dringhouses pupils star in public speaking competition

Two Dringhouses pupils (pictured below with Ann and Ashley) starred in the York Civic Trust Schools’ Public Speaking Competition, held earlier this month at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall – see http://yorkcivictrust.co.uk/?idno=865

Civic Trust Public Speaking Competition

Ashley commented  “It was great to see such inspiring young people demonstrate so confidently a real depth of knowledge about York and its history. I very much hope they keep up their public speaking.”

Latest planning applications for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

 Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward. 

Reference           16/01578/FUL

37 Moorcroft Road York YO24 2RQ

Proposal              First floor rear extension (resubmission)

Reference           16/01633/FUL

26 Ainsty Avenue York YO24 1HH

Proposal              Single storey rear extension


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/

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

More delays at Hob Moor development

Hobstones building workThe media are reporting that there will be further delays before the “Hob Stones” development will be occupied. The development, located on the former Our Lady’s school site next to Hob Moor, has been branded the unluckiest development in Yorkshire.

The school closed in 2012

The high density development was subject to objections from local residents and amenity groups when it sought planning permission in 2013.

Building work started in May 2014.

Still no sign of repair to the carriageway in Windsor Garth

Still no sign of repairs on the carriageway in Windsor Garth

Later the appointed building contractors went bust adding another 18 months to the development timetable.

Now it appears that some of the houses, and an access road, have not been built in the correct positions.  Although the variances are claimed to be very small it means that a retrospective planning application will be needed to regularise the situation.

This will mean a further delay of about 3 months before the homes are occupied.

The development has been heavily criticised by neighbouring residents who have lived with a “nightmare” of poorly parked vehicles, road damage and congestion caused by building trucks for the last three years.

At the time of writing no revised planning application had been submitted by the developers Yorkshire Housing to the York Council.

Lib Dems call for funding guarantees for York

Tom Brake EU Launch

Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to guarantee that York will still receive millions in EU funding and that the positive contribution EU citizens living in the city make is recognised.


The Lib Dems will move a motion at next week’s Full Council saying the Government should ensure that York and Yorkshire receives investment at least equal to that planned to be provided by EU programmes. Between now and 2020, the region will directly receive £661m from European programmes to support small businesses, help residents find work, and support farmers and rural communities.


The motion says that in future negotiations, the UK’s vital trading relationship with the EU should be protected and the Government should put in place a support package to help local businesses deal with the short-term economic shock and the transition to the UK’s new relationship with the EU. The Lib Dems are also calling for the rights of the 5,000 plus EU citizens currently working and living in the city to be protected.


Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council who will move the motion, commented:


“It is clear that following the referendum there are many unanswered questions of crucial importance to local residents and businesses. With the idea of leaving the EU to ‘take back control’ so ill-defined, it is vital that elected members at all levels in our city make clear their demands for a negotiating position that promotes and protects the interests of York.


“Key issues for us in York include the £661m Yorkshire receives directly from EU programmes as well as the individual funding given to support our universities and other projects in education, science and the environment. On top of this, are the crucial trade links which many local businesses rely on and the status of the EU nationals who have made York their home.


“York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust alone employs more than 250 staff from EU member countries; as it has looked to Europe to address staffing and skills shortages in recent years. The contribution these and other EU nationals make to our city should be recognised by Theresa May and their rights must be protected going forward.”


Cllr Aspden will move the following motion at next Thursday’s Full Council (6:30pm in York’s Guildhall)


York and the impact of Brexit


Council notes:

  • The result of the EU referendum
  • That 58% of those who voted in York voted for the UK to remain a member of the EU
  • That York is a tolerant and inclusive city where the contribution of all citizens (including nationals of other EU countries living here) is recognised and appreciated
  • York residents have benefited from the training, education and employment opportunities offered by EU membership
  • Yorkshire is one of the biggest beneficiaries of EU regional funding, which will include before 2020:

– £345m to support small businesses and create jobs (European Regional Development Fund)

– £286m to get unemployed people back into work (European Social Fund)

– £19.7m to support farmers and rural communities (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development)


Council believes:

  • Many questions vital to the local interest now need answering, including the likely impact on York’s economy, the future of EU funding programmes that benefit York, and the future of the EU citizens who have made York their home
  • With the Brexit proposition of ‘taking control’ so ill-defined, it is vital that elected members at all levels and other interested parties make clear their demands for a Brexit negotiating position that promotes and protects the interests of the people they represent.

Council resolves to write to the Government saying that:

  • The Government should ensure that York and Yorkshire receives investment at least equal to that planned to be provided by EU programmes
  • In future negotiations, the UK’s vital trading relationship with the EU should be protected as far as possible alongside environmental standards and legislation supporting workers’ rights
  • The Government should work with regional LEPs and other partners to put in place a support package to help businesses deal with the short-term economic shock and the transition to the UK’s new relationship with the EU
  • The Government should re-affirm its commitment to funding key projects in the region including York Central, HS2 and Transpennine electrification

The rights of EU citizens currently working and living in the city should be protected.