Charges likely for fishing at Chapman’s Pond

Charges are to be introduced for people wishing to fish at Chapman’s Pond on Moor Lane.
Chapmans pond children fishing 1971

Chapman’s Pond 1971

The charges will be levied when the lease of the site, to the Friends of Chapman’s pond, is concluded later in the year.

The charges are expected to be £3 per day or £15 per year for adults, £1 a day or £5 a year for 13 – 16 years olds and free for under 12s. This level of charging is comparable with the nearby Railway Pond. Fishing has previously been free at the site.

Last year the pond had to be closed to anglers following an outbreak of disease in the fishing stock. At the suggestion of the Environment Agency, and with the support of the anglers, the Council closed the pond during this year’s spawning period resulting in a huge reduction in the number of fish deaths compared to last year

An anglers group is expected to appoint volunteer bailiffs to police fishing at the pond.

The move is also expected to address anti-social behaviour problems at the pond although it is not yet clear whether the boundary will be secured.

Chapman’s Pond is a 2.6 ha site off Moor Lane in Dringhouses. The pond itself covers roughly a third of the site with other habitats including woodland and meadow. It is currently managed by the Council with the assistance of the Friends of Chapman’s Pond.

The Friends are a long running group and have over the years carried out practical maintenance tasks and conservation enhancements. They have also assisted with fund raising, in particular for the circular path in 2011/12 and, for the last three years, in partnership with Love to Eat Café, a summer fair has taken place on site.

The area will be leased to the Friends for a nominal fee initially for three years.

The plan is being discussed at a Council meeting taking place on 23rd September.

Pothole blitz underway

We have reported a number of potholes across the ward that need filling in, most of which have now been logged for action by the council.

We are keen to get this work done before the winter frost and ice sets in, which tends to make already weak road surfaces even weaker and leads to further erosion. The potholes to be filled in are listed below. Others have reported and we await confirmation that they will be fixed also.

Pothole montage

There are a number of streets in the ward that are in desperate need of resurfacing or large patching, including West Thorpe, The Horseshoe and Hillcrest Gardens.


Local Plan consultation – have your say before Monday!

The council’s consultation on the draft Local Plan close at 5pm on Monday 12 September. We would urge all residents to have their say on the proposals, and in particular to support the proposal to designate land off Moor Lane as green belt land protected from development.

Extract from the 'Our City' newsletter

Extract from the ‘Our City’ newsletter









The Moor Lane site was referred to in previous drafts of the Local Plan as site ‘ST10’.

Information on how to take part can be found on the council website at


Tidy-up needed at city entrance

We are calling for action to improve the appearance of one of the main southern entrances to the city.

Motorists coming off the A64 onto the A1036 Tadcaster Road are currently greeted by overgrown weeds on land around the new Askham Bar Park & Ride site. We have contacted City of York Council officers, and First York who operate the Park & Ride site, to try to get some action taken to make the area look more presentable.

Exit from the Park & Ride site

Exit from the Park & Ride site

Cyclists travelling into the city also face problems navigating bushes which are overhanging the path opposite the Sim Balk Lane junction.

Cycle path obstruction

Cycle path obstruction


We have also asked that weeds are removed from the ‘Welcome to York’ sign and flowerbed at that junction.



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

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 to view the Local Plan proposals and complete an online form
  • You can e-mail
  • 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.

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.







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:

To find out more visit

Tacking street-level issues on Tadcaster Road

We are working to get action on a number of street-level issues in the Tadcaster Road area.

Graffiti has been cleaned off the Middlethorpe Grove Street sign at the junction with Tadcaster Road, and the electric utility company have been asked to clean up the graffiti that has been daubed on one of their cabinets on Tadcaster Road.

This graffiti has now been cleaned off

  This graffiti has now been cleaned off










Electric utility box

We have also managed to get the drainage channel outside the vets on Tadcaster Road repaired and cleared out – blockages have been causing the parking layby to flood.













...and after

…and after




















We have obtained a new street sign for Middlethorpe Drive, as the old sign was badly faded.

Shiny new street sign

Shiny new street sign

Askham Bar litter pick success

Cllr Stephen Fenton was joined by seven local volunteers for a litter pick at the old Park & Ride site on Sunday 15th May.

Askham Bar May 2016

“I’d like to thank the volunteers who gave up their Sunday afternoon to join in the litter pick. We managed to bag a decent haul of rubbish.”

Stephen also swept the cycle path that runs along the side of the nursery building, where there was a lot of detritus in which weeds were starting to take root. Other cycle tracks in the vicinity have been reported as needing a good sweep.


Community litter pick this Sunday

Cllr Stephen Fenton is organising a community litter pick this Sunday, 15th May, at the old Askham Bar park & ride site (now known as the ‘Moor Lane pay & display car park’). The litter pick will start at 2pm and finish at 4pm. A similar event in January generated over 50 bags of rubbish.

Litter picking teamAny local residents who would like to take part should e-mail Stephen on or call 787988, so that Stephen knows to bring a sufficient number of litter grabbers on Sunday!