York residents consultation overload?

York-street-sign-great-britain-798670_305_200

After 2 years with virtually no consultation with residents, York is heading towards an overdose this month.

The latest is asking about how the City centre should look and be preserved.

Other consultations taking place at present include:

20 mph city wide speed limit. Deadline for receipt of objections 21st June 2013 www.york20mph.org Alternative view

Local Plan & the Green Belt — Deadline 31st July. www.york.gov.uk/local plan Alternative view

New ward boundaries (Boundary Commission). Deadline 5th August http://tinyurl.com/Wards-June-2013 Alternative view:

The new consultation talks about the importance of having a “fully accessible” City. The consultation runs for eight-weeks until Wednesday 31 July.

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York Local Plan documents finally published.

Immigration forecasts click to enlarge

Immigration forecasts click to enlarge

It’s not difficult to see why the York Council was so reluctant to publish the ARUP report on housing needs in the City.

The report is now available click here and confirms that most of the new homes would be occupied by “international migrants

The background documents that the Council is relying on to justify providing 22,000 additional homes – many in the green belt – have now all been published (http://www.york.gov.uk/downloads/200396/planning_policy).

In February 2011 the Council agreed a plan which would have seen around 600 additional homes built in York each year. These would have been built on brownfield (previously developed) land such as unused sites previously occupied by British Sugar, Nestle, Terry’s and the railways (York Central).

When Labour won the 2011 local elections they increased this build figure to 800 p.a. before submitting their proposal to central government. That plan also confirmed the draft Green Belt boundaries which had been drawn up more than a decade previously.

Population Growth click to enlarge

Population Growth click to enlarge

In April of this year the Labour Cabinet relied on a secret report by Consultants ARUP to justify an increased target of at least 1200 new homes each year for the next 15 years.

The published report has obviously been re-written for public consumption as it has an edition date of 15th May – long after the Cabinet decision meeting which took place on 30th April 2013.

The report says that in 2011 York had a population of 198,000 people. This represents an increase of almost 17,000 people or 9.3% in the number of people living within the authority area since the 2001 Census.

Housing completions click to enlarge

Housing completions click to enlarge

It goes on to confirm that the, long term average for housing completions in the authority for the period 2004/05(the start of the RSS plan period) – 2011/12 was 648 net additional dwellings.

The report says that to accommodate “natural” change (excluding inward migration) no more than 400 additional homes would be required each year (686 people)

The report confirms (page13) that most of the new houses above that figures will be occupied by immigrants “Cumulatively, this is based on a growth of 36,000 international migrants in the authority within this time period”

It is this that generates a “demand” for 1310 new home per year.

It is then suggested by the report authors that these projections should be reduced to reflect local evidence. They suggest 850 dwelling per year to be more appropriate (which would still imply that 16,000 immigrants would join the York community over the next 15 years).

The independent Office of National Statistics forecast (page 14) a population growth of 1176 pa (600 dwellings), while a later 2011 based study forecasts 700 dwellings.

The York community has benefited from inward migration over the centuries. Immigrants often provide the labour and ideas to move communities forward. However, no City of York’s size would have tried to accommodate such a major population change in such a short space of time.

The consultants conclude on page 18 “As such we believe that such a figure (850 dwellings per year) is in line with the most recent evidence on demographic trends, and in particular levels of migration. We therefore believe that adopting such an approach would mean that the area is meeting objectively assessed needs”.

Job growth click to enlarge

Job growth click to enlarge

ARUP conclude that we are likely to see a growth in jobs of between 800 and 960 jobs per annum over the next 15 years.

A higher growth rate has been assumed by the Council’s Cabinet in certain job sectors such as finance and tourism.

It is this that leads to the claim that at least 1090 new homes per annum are required.
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List of Dringhouses Ward planning applications received last week

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council. Full details can be found by clicking by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Click here. http://planningaccess.york.gov.uk/online-applications/

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

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

Ref No: 13/01311/FUL Location: 30 White House Drive York YO24 1ED Proposal: Two storey side and rear extension Applicant: Ms Shelley King Contact Mr Bob Marks Consultation Expiry Date 24 June 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level DEL

Four year old “Showman’s Yard” report used by York Council to justify Wetherby Road plan

The York Council has admitted that a report, which it claims justified establishing a 20 pitch “Showman’s Yard” on land located between Knapton and Wetherby Road, is 4 years old.

Proposed Showman's site Wetherby Road Knapton

Proposed Showman’s site Wetherby Road Knapton

It appears in a complete list of relevant documents which is available for download and is here on the internet,

Essentially the report, compiled by a consultancy company called “arc4” from Manchester, details the aspirations of the small group of show people who tour the country providing fair ground style entertainment.

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“Save the Green Belt” petition tops 1000 signatures. 94% say green belt land should continue to be protected in York.

Page 4 Click to enlarge

Page 4 Click to enlarge

1042 residents have now signed the petition aimed at making permanent the draft Green Belt boundaries, agreed by the York Council in 2011.

This would mean that many of the controversial developments being proposed by Labour would have to be withdrawn.

Green Belt sites scheduled for development by Labour include land next to Knapton/Wetherby Road (Showmans Yard), the Great Knoll Foxwood Lane (residential), west of Moor Lane (residential) and Dunnington (Traveller site).

The number of survey forms returned now makes the following residents survey results reliable to +/- 3%.

The population of York should increase by 25% over the next 15 years Agree 8% Disagree 71% Unde 22%

“(Draft) Green Belt land should continue to be protected from development ” Agree 94% Disagree 3% Unde 3%

More homes should be built at previously developed sites like Terry’s and British Sugar” Agree 89% Disagree 6% Unde 5%

“I am opposed to plans to provide a “showmans” site on Wetherby Road ” Agree 84% Disagree 12% Unde 4%

Greenfield sites in Dringhouses should be protected from development Agree 99% Disagree 1% Unde 0%

“I am opposed to charging for parking at out of City centre retail parks ” Agree 78% Disagree 11% Unde 11%

“I am concerned about the development of large scale wind farms near the City ” Agree 62% Disagree 18% Unde 20%

“I don’t want to see Lendal bridge closed to private cars at the present time ” Agree 69% Disagree 13% Unde 18%

Save the green belt poster Dringhouses

List of planning applications received by the York Council between 18th – 22nd Mar

Below is the latest list of planning applications received by the York Council. Full details can be found by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Click here.

Representations can be made in favour of, or in objection to, any application via the Planning on line web site.

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

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

• Ref No: 13/00525/FUL Location: 1 The Horseshoe York YO24 1LY Proposal: Two storey rear and single storey side extensions Applicant: Mr & Mrs McGovern Contact Mr Paul Martin Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level DEL

• Ref No: 13/00588/TCMAS Location: Telecommunications Mast Adjacent Cycle Track Tadcaster Road Dringhouses York Proposal: Replacement 12 metre high telecommunications monopole base station with a 15 metres high telecommunications mast, and 2no. additional equipment cabinets Applicant: Telefonica Ltd Contact Mr Sebastian Bowe Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013 Case Officer: Victoria Bell Expected Decision Level DEL

• Ref No: 13/00617/FUL Location: 36 Ashbourne Way York YO24 2SW Proposal: Erection of porch to front Applicant: Mr And Mrs MacKenzie Contact Mr R Room Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL

• Ref No: 13/00613/TPO Location: 33 Ashbourne Way York YO24 2SW Proposal: Crown lift over neighbours property and crown thin up to 30% Oak (T1), Tree protected by Tree Preservation Order No 26 Applicant: Mr Pratt Contact Rupert Craven Consultation Expiry Date 15 April 2013 Case Officer: Esther Priestley Expected Decision Level DEL

York: Successful or in decline?

The current council administration inherited a City economy that had been transformed over the previous decade.

Diversification had made the City more resilient to changes in the national economy, unemployment levels were below national and regional levels, the property market was relatively buoyant while dozens of local development sites had been granted planning permission.

2 years later many of the sites with outstanding planning permission have stalled.

Derwenthorpe - One of York's few recent development  success stores

Derwenthorpe – One of York’s few recent development success stores

Only developments that had already started in 2011, have been pushed through to a conclusion. These include institutional development linked to an expanding higher education sector as well as some social housing at sites like Derwenthorpe.

In response, the Council appears to have adopted a headless chicken response, despatching ill defined missions to Korea, Paris, Cannes and China in an attempt to be seen to be doing something.

The £25,000 Cannes trip has been reported as producing “leads” to 30 potential investors – but no firm commitments.

You know politicians are getting desperate when they feel that they have to sloganise an initiative. So after “Get York Moving” (the City is still moving at much the same speed it has managed for the last 15 years) we now have “Get York Building”.

The initiative has been greeted with derision by many small builders who were cynically excluded from the talks which led up to its launch, while opposition Councillors have been excluded from the “Board” which has been formed to oversee it.

So where are we with key development sites in the City?

This is a summary.

Monks Cross South (retail and new Stadium) – Delayed by 6 months (Great Crested Newts) . Unlikely to open before 2015 (retail) and 2016 (stadium)

Hungate – Developers unable to proceed with stage 2 because of onerous planning conditions

Germany Beck – In delay due to court action. Unlikely to start until 2014 at earliest.

Derwenthorpe – Phase 1 completed. No confirmation of when remaining phases will be started.

York Central – stalled

Castle – Piccadilly – stalled

University of York – Heslington East – on schedule

Terry’s stalled. Site on market for sale again

Nestlé South – stalled

British Sugar – Slow progress. No planning application expected before autumn

House building still falling in York

The Council is obliged to produce an “Annual Monitoring Review” which looks at how it’s performance compares to its targets.

The latest available is for the 2011/12 year. It can be viewed here.

The number of homes completed in the City in each of the last 10 years is as follows

House building, Norfolk

2003 – 669
2004 – 1193
2005 – 949
2006 – 875
2007 – 557
2008 – 502
2009 – 606
2010 – 572
2011 – 354
2012 – 171 (first 6 months excluding specialist student units)

Of the 171 only 29 were classified as “affordable”.

The Cabinet member with responsibility for housing in the City is expected to come under pressure at the Council meeting later this week.

She will have to explain why it looks like the total number of affordable homes provided will be the lowest for at least 6 years.

At the same time the waiting list for homes has reached an all time high.

Planning permissions granted for home construction fell to only 198 in 2011. The Council have declined to forecast what the outturn for the current financial year will be.

Some commentators are forecasting that the number of (unimplemented) planning permissions will fall to an all time record low this year.

As at September 2011 the figure stood at 3120.

Tomorrow we’ll look at which of these permissions are on stalled developments and why.

2 new planning applications in Dringhouses area

Two local planning applications were received by the Council last week in the Dringhouses Ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the reference below or by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site.

Representations can be made in favour or in opposition to any application via the above web site.

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

Ref No: 12/03572/FUL Location: 4 Slingsby Grove York YO24 1LS Proposal: Erection of two storey dwelling to rear Applicant: Mr & Mrs Lo Contact Christopher C Dent Consultation Expiry Date 8 April 2013 Case Officer: Jonathan Kenyon Expected Decision DEL

Ref No: 13/00538/FUL Location: 290A Tadcaster Road York YO24 1ET Proposal: First floor and two storey extension to side, single storey extension to link cottage to main house Applicant: Mr And Mrs Lewis Contact Ms Kate MacNeill Consultation Expiry Date 10 April 2013 Case Officer: Carolyn Howarth Expected Decision Level DEL

Now secrecy engulfs planning applications in York

Labour Councillors have said that in future neighbours will NOT receive a notification from the Council about any planning applications that they receive.

Instead they will depend on residents seeing the notices which should be displayed on a nearby lamppost.

We think that such a system is highly fragile.

I will therefore outinelyreport on this web site the applications received, for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward, each week. Most are likely to be routine domestic extensions, many of which are likely to be uncontroversial.

Full details can be found by quoting the application reference on the “planning portal” web site. Click here.

The Council is also scrapping one of its three planning committees.

The applications received this week are:

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