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.

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.

Local Plan proposals published

York’s emerging Local Plan will take a step closer to being finalised this month when councillors will be asked to approve a new Local Plan Preferred Sites document, which outlines revised figures for housing, employment and sites that will be used to help pave way for a citywide consultation.

local-plan-map

 

 

 

 

 

The developing Local Plan aims to support the city’s economic growth, addresses the shortage of housing and helps shape future development and employment in York over the next 15-years and beyond.

The draft plan includes a number of changes from the 2014 publication draft which affect the Dringhouses & Woodthorpe ward:

  • The proposals would see land at Moor Lane, Woodthorpe protected – the previous draft plan had this earmarked as ‘safeguarded land’ for future development
  • Two housing sites previously identified on Tadcaster Road – Land at the Racecourse and at Cherry Lane – have been deleted
  • In the previous draft plan, land at the rear of The Square had been earmarked for 49 dwellings. The new proposals would see the land allocated for residential extra care facilities in association with the Wilberforce Trust
  • It is proposed to allocate land at the former Askham Bar park & ride site for residential development for 60 dwellings

In line with the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, introduced in 2012, a draft report will go before Executive on 30 June, following a meeting with the Local Plan Working Group on 27 June. If approved, the proposals will then be opened up to the public for an eight-week consultation starting in July.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of City of York Council, said:

We have worked with officers since last May on these proposals which aim to deliver the housing York needs but protect the character setting of the city.

“I’m delighted that we are now moving forward to be in the best possible position to take the emerging Local Plan through to adoption. As part of this process, it’s essential that we engage with members of the public through consultation and this report provides important details on the upcoming Preferred Sites consultation, which we will launch this July.

“As the joint administration we have committed to engage with the York’s residents and businesses and this will be one of a series of stages where we will do this. As well as public exhibitions we are sending information to every household in York which will outline in detail the next steps between now and submission to Government next year.”

The Preferred Sites Document identifies approximately 480 hectares of land for housing and approximately 57 hectares of land for employment. The previous publication draft plan included approximately 960 hectares of land for housing and 61 hectares of land for employment.

The majority of the land removed sits within the draft Green Belt with proposed green field housing sites cut by over 50 per cent from 862 hectares to 366.

The vast majority of draft green belt sites proposed in 2014 have either been removed entirely, substantially altered and/or reduced in size.

In addition to this, the previous publication draft included 335 hectares of safeguarded land identified for longer term need. All safeguarded land has now been removed from the plan. A small element has been reallocated for employment uses at Grimston Bar and Northminster.

Proposed housing on brownfield land has increased from 85 hectares (in 2014) to 101 hectares, with York Central alone earmarked for 1,500 new homes.

These projections are in line with York’s independently-assessed housing need, taking account of completed sites, sites with permission and supplemented by small windfalls (sites which come forward during the plan period). Overall, the proposals will deliver land for at least 8,277 homes for the period up to 2032 and 2,450 homes for the period 2032 and 2037.

Linking housing and employment growth continues to be an important element of this work. Over 50 hectares of employment land has been identified for future development in York over the lifespan of the new plan, including the University of York, York Central and Northminster.

Significant evidence work was undertaken prior to the draft Preferred Sites paper to ensure York’s heritage and conservation, open spaces are protected and flood risk areas were taken into account.

The plan is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State (Planning Inspectorate) by May 2017.

To view a copy of the Local Plan Working Group report visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=128&MId=9703

To find out more visit www.york.gov.uk/localplan

York HMO license conditions to be reconsidered

City of York Council’s third, five-year Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing programme is to be considered at Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 16 December.

The programme aims to further improve the sector by ensuring that homes meet expected standards and are well-managed, and the session will also consider streamlining and making the scheme more cost effective.

The first two schemes operated from 2006 and 2011. The new scheme that will run from 2016, is proposed to have a new condition: licence holders must demonstrate that they have the required up-to-date knowledge and skills to operate a HMO. They should be able to show that they have attended, as a minimum, a one-day professional development course provided by the council, or alternative courses which have been recognised by the council as meeting the necessary standards.
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Home sales buoyant in west York

Still properties available for less than £125,000
Moor Lane character property

Moor Lane character property

A wide range of properties have been sold in west York during the last few months. They include a one bed  terraced at  17, Hinton Avenue, YO24 3NW for £125,000,  a two bed terraced at 1, Vincent Way, YO24 3HZ for £165,000, a three bed terraced  at 54, Westfield Place, YO24 3HW for £178,000 and a four bed detached at 105, Foxwood Lane, YO24 3LQ for £284,000.

Properties currently on the market include a 2 bed flat at Silverdale Court at £140,000, a 3 bed semi Tedder Road for £215,000 and a four bedroomed property at Eden Close for £325.000. Move in straight away (no chain) properties include a 2 bed semi at The Wandle, Acomb, York for £149,950, a 3 bed semi  at Kinbrace Drive, York, YO24 for £215,000 and a 4 bed detached on Alexa Court, York, YO24 for £289,950.

Ascot Way flat

Ascot Way flat

Currently the cheapest property listed is for a flat in Ascot Way at £110,000 and a retirement flat in Front Street for the same amount

Building plots for single homes are currently advertised at around £85,000 (Thanet Road).

Cut price bargains include a flat at New Lane for £150,000 and a two bed character property at Old Moor Lane for £250,000

Properties available to rent include a 2 bed terrace at Jervis Road for £795 per month,  a 3 bed terrace in Mildred Grove for £875 pm and a 4 bed semi at Moorgarth Avenue for £1250.

Listings of over 80 properties in the YO24 area  can be found by clicking here

York Council plans new controls on private letting agents

LandlordNew laws to better regulate the private rented sector will be considered by the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 25 August.

The recommendation is to introduce, for the first time in the sector, fixed penalty notices for letting agents and landlords who are found to be deliberately flouting the law.

The new legislation requires that:

  • all letting and management agents must belong to a redress scheme to ensure any complaints by landlords or tenants are dealt with fairly. Nationally there are three approved and government-backed schemes available for managing or letting agencies to join with joining costs ranging from £170 to £350 per annum.
  • all letting agents must display details of all their fees and charges on their websites and in their offices for clarity and to enable landlords and tenants to shop around and promote transparency within the sector. In line with the Consumer Rights Act, all agents must display all charges as well, as well as the redress scheme they belong to.
  • all landlords must install smoke detectors on every storey of every rented property and fit carbon monoxide alarms in every room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance. From 1 October 2015, all private sector landlords must ensure that there are working detectors at the start of every new tenancy. (Legislation around this for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) is already in existence.)

Being the enforcing authority, the council’s Executive Member will also be asked to agree how the new legislation will be implemented and set levels of fines that the council can charge for non-compliance. The recommendation is for a maximum £5,000 penalty for each instance of non-compliance and to delegate the power to the Housing Services Manager who will be given discretion to lower the fine in extenuating circumstances.

The council will be working with landlords to ensure that they understand the implications of the new laws and are invited to contact the Housing Standards and Adaptations Service for further advice by emailing housing.standards@york.gov.uk or by telephoning 01904 552300 or by regularly looking for updates on the council’s website www.york.gov.uk

The Decision Session will take place on Friday 25 August at West Offices from 6.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://modgov.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=875&MId=9040

House price and private rent monitor update

House sales have been brisk in west York over the last quarter. Sales have included:

Properties currently available for purchase include

Main Image Newbury Avenue, York, YO24

Newbury Avenue

Chain free properties available for immediate occupation include:

Main Image Westfield Place, York, YO24

Westfield Place

 

Properties recently discounted include

 West Thorpe, Dringhouses, York

West Thorpe

Properties for rent include

 Ruby Street, York

Ruby Street

 

HMO planning application update

An application to re-designate a property in Wains Road as a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ has been withdrawn.

HMO application withdrawn for 146 Wains Rd

HMO application withdrawn for 146 Wains Rd

 

 

 

 

 

The application made for 146 Wains Road, and a similar application made for 8 Leven Road, attracted a number of comments on the council’s online Planning portal. The application for Leven Road remains live.

The property at 146 Wains Road now has a ‘To Let’ sign in the front garden.

Homeless young people Enable older pair to make their first move in 40 years.

To help a mother and daughter move home for the first time in 40 years, City of York Council and SASH, a charity for homeless young people, will be decorating the pair’s new council flat.

City of York Council’s 60+ Housing Advice Service and SASH are delighted to announce their fifth Enable Project. Enable brings together young people who have experienced homelessness and are now part of the SASH supported lodgings scheme, and older people who are working with the 60+ housing service. The older people may be experiencing difficulties with decorating or gardening, and the young people may need to learn these skills for when they have their own home – as well as getting a taste of volunteering. The older people get to pass on their skills and knowledge while getting a much-needed job done, and both young and old enjoy gallons of tea and tonnes of biscuits!

The project is also supported by Homebase, with staff from the York store helping out on the makeover days and sharing their DIY expertise with the young people, along with donating much-appreciated decorating materials.

The council’s 60+ Housing Specialist has been working with Thelma Wright, aged 86, and her daughter Sally for over a year, as they made the difficult decision to move from the house where they have lived in for over 40 years, into a flat in council’s sheltered accommodation at Barstow House.

Thelma Wright said: “We’ve decided the flat will be much easier to manage and it is an exciting new start for us. The Enable team will be going to help with the decorating, giving the whole place a lick of paint ready for our move.”