Council tenants get lifeline

Liberal Democrat Councillors have called on the Council to support and restore the York Residents’ Federation, the voice for tenants and residents associations in the city, following a recent collapse of the Federation.

The York Residents’ Federation represents the interests of residents and tenants by promoting resident’s rights to be involved in developing policies on housing and other issues at the Council.

Up until this month, the Federation had operated for over 25 years, playing a huge role in providing local and detailed knowledge to Council departments and acting as a representative sounding board to be consulted on ideas and changes to Council policies.

Thanks to the effort of hard working volunteers, the Federation has made tangible changes to estates, which have ensured that residents of mixed tenures of can take pride in their own communities.

To ensure the Federation is reinstated, the Liberal Democrats have formally requested a scrutiny review to identify areas in which the Council can support greater tenant engagement.

Councillor Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Housing, commented:

Ann Reid

“The York Residents Federation has played a crucial role in ensuring resident’s aspirations are reflected in Council housing policies and therefore, we are naturally alarmed at the recent collapse of the Federation.”

“Liberal Democrats are committed to ensuring that the Federation is reinstated and that it is properly supported in representing tenants and residents.”

“I hope the scrutiny committee see the reasoning behind our request and act swiftly in identifying opportunities in which the Council can restore and strengthen tenant engagement.”

Views sought on Highmoor Road parking options

Over recent months local Lib Dem councillors have been working with council officers to try to come up with possible solutions to help ease parking issues on Highmoor Road.

Vehicles parked opposite the entrance to Highmoor Close can make it difficult for large vehicles to get in and out, which has led to damage being done to the grass verges on the corners.

An initial idea was to create a parking bay in the verge outside the flats, similar to the one outside the flats on Wains Road. There are however utilities in the verge which would need to be diverted if tarmac was laid on the verge, which would be prohibitively expensive.

Residents are now being asked to have their say about three possible options.

Option 1 

Option 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This would provide 10 parking spaces aligned parallel to the boundary wall. Because this uses most of the lawned area, it requires a large area to allow vehicles to manoeuvre and to exit in a forward direction. This whole area would need to be converted to the EcoGrid construction.

Example of EcoGrid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proposal would also require the provision of 2 wide vehicular crossings from Highmoor Road to allow access and exit from the parking area. Due to the extensive area needing to be provided, and the wider crossings, the cost of this option would be around £40,000.

There are various options available, eg this could be reduced to 5 spaces thereby considerably reducing the area of EcoGrid and hence the overall cost. We have concerns about the feasibility of this option because the paths down to flats 10 & 12 and 26 & 28 would be removed.

Option 2

Option 2 (map should say 6, not 8, spaces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This option allows for 6 spaces, requiring the installation of 275m² of EcoGrid and a 4.5m wide vehicle crossing off Highmoor Road into the parking area. The cost of this option is around £27,500.

The access path to the front door would need to be removed / relocated to a more suitable position, but a shorter section of the front boundary wall will need to be removed compared to Option 1.

The option does result in the need for only one vehicular access, at a more conventional width.

Option 3

Option 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This option allows for 4 spaces, requiring the installation of 140m² of EcoGrid and a 4.5m wide vehicle crossing off Highmoor Road into the parking area. The cost of this option is around £19,000.

The access path to the front door would need to be removed / relocated to a more suitable position and a short section of the front boundary wall removed.

The fourth option is to do nothing and leave the lawned area in front of the flats as it is.

Residents are invited to send comments on the options to Cllr Stephen Fenton at cllr.sfenton@york.gov.uk or call 01904 787988.

Developers’ leaflet drop to promote Green Belt grab

Leaflets are being delivered across Woodthorpe by developers who are promoting their ambition to build 500 homes on Green Belt land off Moor Lane.

Barwood Land’s Moor Lane flyer states that “the site was included previously within the emerging City of York Local Plan for up to 500 homes.” It fails to mention however that in the Local Plan that is currently with Government inspectors, the site is proposed to get formal Green Belt protection!

The developers state that they are developing a ‘hybrid planning application’ for the site.

A number of residents who live on Moor Lane and on streets off have contacted us to say that they haven’t received the leaflet, but streets much further away, such as St Helens Road, have received it.

Stephen, Ann and Ashley at the proposed development site

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe’s Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to oppose plans to build on this site.

Councillor calls for early engagement on Askham Bar housing plans

Local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has called on the council to undertake early and meaningful engagement with local residents on plans to build homes on the former Askham Bar Park & Ride site.

Cllrs Stephen Fenton and Ann Reid at the former P&R site, which is currently used as a pay & display car park

Cllr Fenton spoke at a meeting of the Council’s Executive on 12 July, which approved a proposal to undertake detailed design work to develop and submit a planning application for mixed tenure housing on the former Park & Ride site.

The Askham Bar scheme is part of a wider housing package that will see council-owned land and investment from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) utilised to directly deliver approximately 550 homes on six sites of which 40% will be affordable housing. This represents 20% more affordable homes compared to the number that would be delivered by the market if they were to comply with planning policy.

Cllr Fenton said “The site is currently an eyesore, and so it is good to see some progress being made on developing the site to provide much-needed new homes.

“But before the planning application is submitted, I want to see meaningful engagement with ward councillors, local residents and other interested parties.

“There are already significant issues in the Askham Bar area in terms of traffic congestion, which has a number of impacts such as on bus timetable reliability. I am keen therefore that we take this opportunity to look at the highways infrastructure and how we might make changes to help improve matters for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Cllr Fenton also sought clarification that the number of homes planned for the site is in line with the number (60) included in the draft Local Plan. He also asked what was happening with the proposed demolition of garages and construction of six new council homes on Chaloners Road, with a suggestion that the two schemes be progressed together.

Six new council homes planned for Chaloners Road

It is anticipated that the design and planning of the Askham Bar scheme will begin this summer, with a view to getting on site in Autumn/Winter 2019.

 

New threat emerges to Moor Lane Green Belt

Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton has expressed concern at the submission of an application for a ‘scoping opinion’ on proposals to develop land off Moor Lane in Woodthorpe that has been earmarked as Green Belt.

The application refers to plans to build 500 homes on land adjacent to the Askham Bog nature reserve, along with a school, sports facilities, allotments and public open space. It is believed to be a precursor to a more detailed planning application being submitted.

The red line marks the area for which an application has been made for a ‘scoping opinion’

Developers have previously set out their desire to develop the site, most recently in 2016 when they published a brochure setting out an aspiration to build 1,250 homes:

Moor Lane green belt plans challenged

Commenting on the new application, Cllr Fenton said “This application for land that has been earmarked as Green Belt is unwelcome, and will be resisted.

“Throughout the various stages of consultation on York’s Local Plan, residents and local councillors have been firm in their opposition to the development of this site, which is right next to the Askham Bog Site of Special Scientific Interest.”

Following the submission of York’s Local Plan to Government on 25 May 2018, Planning Inspectors have been appointed to conduct an examination as to whether the Plan is ‘sound.’

Wilberforce Trust planning application approved

On 19 April the council’s Planning Committee approved the application by the Wilberforce Trust to build three three-storey blocks accommodating 30 apartments, and a two-storey office and community element, on its land to the east of St Leonards Hospice and The Square.


The full text of the decision, and conditions attached, will be made available in due course on the council website Here.

Planning Committee to decide on Wilberforce Trust application

The council’s Planning Committee will meet on Thursday 19 April to decide on the application by the Wilberforce Trust to build three three-storey blocks accommodating 30 apartments, and a two-storey office and community element, on its land to the east of St Leonards Hospice and The Square.

The officer report recommends that the application is approved. The report is available on the council website Here.

St Helens Road development recommended for approval

The proposal to extend the Abbeyfield House care home to include specialist 17 extra care flats and 8 dementia care units is being recommended for approval. The proposal involves the demolition of 27 St Helen’s Road.

Officials are set to shun the objections made by 57 residents, the ward planning panel and local Ward Councillors. The objectors raise a wide range of issues including inadequate parking provision, overlooking, drainage, scale, massing, impact on the nearby children’s nursery and loss of open space.

Residents can attend the planning meeting which will discuss the plans. It takes place on Thursday 11th January starting at 4:30pm

Details of the officers report can be read by clicking here

 

Six new council homes planned for Chaloners Road

At a meeting of the council’s Executive on Wednesday 15th November councillors will be asked to approve a proposal that would see six two-bedroom council homes built on Chaloners Road in Dringhouses. The homes would be built on council land currently occupied by garages.

Planning approval for six apartments and two houses was granted for the site on Chaloners Road in August 2014, following earlier Cabinet approval to include the site in the wider new council housing build programme. However, in June 2016, the contractor appointed to deliver the scheme advised that they no longer wished to undertake the development. This was prior to work starting on site and has led to a re-appraisal of the development proposals.

With the building contractor withdrawing from the project, the opportunity arose to look again at local housing priorities and the site suitability for a small development of houses. There is a significant need for two-bed family housing, and the Chaloners Road site lends itself well to this.

Controversial Tadcaster Road planning application approved

A controversial planning application to demolish two homes on Tadcaster Road and shoehorn 11 properties onto the site was approved by members of City of York Council’s Area Planning Sub Committee on 9 November.


The plans attracted overwhelming opposition from local residents and ward councillors, but officers recommended approval. Cllr Ann Reid spoke at the meeting to highlight the reasons why the application should be refused, one of which was the impact of adding another junction into what is already a very busy stretch of road.

Six members of the committee supported the recommendation to approve the application and four were opposed, so the application was approved. It was agreed however to add as a condition for approval that the narrow track connecting the site to Mayfield Grove should be restricted to pedestrian and cycle use only.