Cost of Local Plan consultants report put at £9000

The York Council has said that the total cost of the work undertaken by Arup consultants to support the Local Plan Preferred options – Housing Requirements in York: Assessment of the Evidence on Housing Requirements in York was £8,837 plus VAT

This is the report that the Council used in “Draft” form to justify its decision in April to seek land on which to build an additional 22,000 in York over the next 15 years.

LibDems back new save our countryside campiagn

Green Belt map of England

Green Belt map of England

York’s Liberal Democrat Council Group Leader says a new national campaign to protect the countryside supports the approach his party has taken to controversial housing plans.

Last week the Lib Dems submitted their objection to Labour run City of York Council’s Draft Local Plan, which proposes building 16,000 houses on Green Belt land over the next 15 years. In recent months the Lib Dems have been leading the fight to protect York’s Green Belt, including organising a petition signed by nearly 2,500 local residents. The party has said that new housing should be focused on brownfield sites before the countryside surrounding York is developed.

Now a national ‘Save our Countryside’ charter launched by the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has highlighted the threat of developing Green Belt land and called on councils to develop brownfield sites first. The CPRE has said that current policies mean the countryside is “being destroyed unnecessarily” and a ‘brownfield first’ approach should be adopted.

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More brownfield sites for homes coming forward in York. Major questions to be answered on Council’s greenfield development plans

Brownfield sites for nearly 2000 additional homes have already been found since Labour launched its attack on the Green Belt in April.

Many alternatives to green field development were listed in the LibDem response to the Council’s Local Plan which was submitted last week.

Ashbank - will be converted into flats

Ashbank – will be converted into flats

Even more potential brownfield sites are now emerging with an application being considered on Thursday to provide 9 homes at the former Ashbank care home site on Shipton Road. The property is owned by the Council.

A further application will see 12 homes built on the site of the Yearsley Grove pub on Huntington Road

The same planning committee will consider a proposal to construct 37 new homes on the site of the Burnholme Club in Heworth. This was a site identified for housing in the Local Plan (Ref H17) but for only 19 homes.

Taken with other sites – like Our Lady’s – there seems to have been a systematic and cynical attempt by York Council leaders to deliberately underestimate the capacity of brownfield sites in the City.

In the latter two cases the actual planning proposals almost double the number of units allocated for the sites in the Local Plan.

No explanation has been forthcoming from the Council on these major anomalies.

York Council refuses to buy empty flats despite increase in homelessness

The York Council won’t use any of its government “New Homes Bonus” payments, housing reserves or developer planning levies to buy homes on the open market.

In total over £10 million is available to supplement rental stocks.

The disappointing announcement came at the last Council meeting when the Labour Councillor responsible for housing (Tracey Simpson-Laing) claimed that empty properties currently on the market in York “are poorly insulated”.

St Stephens Square £65,000 click for details

St Stephens Square £65,000 click for details

Instead the Council intends to spend around £7 million constructing new Council flats at sites like the former Beckfield Lane recycling centre. These properties are likely to cost around £170,000 each including the value of the building plot (which is already owned by the Council).

The decisions comes at a time when a Freedom of Information request has revealed that the housing waiting list – now amalgamated for the whole of North Yorkshire – has over 2800 applications SEEKING ONE BEDROOMED PROPERTIES.

This is more than half the total number on the list, which has now reached 4600. Many of these, though, have been added since the list was “opened up” and includes people from other parts of the country who want to move to York. It also, for the first time, includes many teenagers who had previously had rented accommodation in the private sector, lived with relatives or in shared accommodation .

The only planning application so far made for the new Council houses (on Beckfield Lane) is for 6 two bedroomed and 3 one bedroomed flats. In additional the site will accommodate 6 two bedroomed homes as well as several “for sale” units. Approval of the planning application has been delayed.

Potentially the Council could purchase 70 empty flats on the open market for the £7 million. They would be available immediately to ease the demand for more rented property.

In turn this could free up the same number of larger properties (there are 354 existing Council tenants seeking a move to a smaller property).

A modern two bedroomed terraced property in Birch Copse is advertised for £115,000.

Birch Copse £115,000 click for details

Birch Copse £115,000 click for details


And there are bargains around.

A 2 bedroomed (former) Council flat in St Stephens Road is advertised for £65,000. As a cash buyer the Council is ideally placed to secure properties like this.

NB. The latest Council report on “homelessness” in the City concedes that the number of rough sleepers in the York has increased. The quarter 3 submission to government identified 8, an increase from the previous year of 2.

The number of households in temporary accommodation remains high despite a reduction in homeless acceptances and the opening of Howe Hill for Young People. The target for 2012/13 was 85. The final number in temporary accommodation as of 31/3/12 was 99

Liberal Democrats lodge objections to Labours Local Plan

Nick Emmerson and Cllr Ann Reid at the Moor Lane site which is threatened with development

Nick Emmerson and Cllr Ann Reid at the Moor Lane site which is threatened with development

Liberal Democrat Councillors have submitted comprehensive objections to Labours plan to expand the size of the City by 25% over the next 15 years.

The party is looking for a more sustainable approach to growth in population, jobs and homes.

The submission – which can be read by clicking this link http://tinyurl.com/LibDem-Council-Group-LP-view – casts doubt on the list of brownfield housing sites included in the report.

The Council’s list seems to exclude over 6000 possible brownfield development opportunities.

Mean while local Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Councillor Ann Reid has formally objected to development which is planned for in west of the City.

Her submission can be read by clicking this link http://tinyurl.com/Local-Plan-Ann-Reid-view

Cllr Nigel Ayres submission can also be viewed by clicking this link http://db.tt/PeyfZjHW

All comments on the proposals have to be received by the Council TODAY (Wednesday 31st July).

They should be emailed to localplan@york.gov.uk

Latest Planning applications Dringhouses & Woodthorpe Ward

Below are the latest planning application received by the York Council last week. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Ref No: 13/02417/FULM
Location: Turf Tavern 277 Thanet Road York YO24 2PE
Proposal: Removal of condition 17 of permitted application 12/00087/FULM (provision of 10% of the developments energy requirements from on-site renewable sources)
Applicant: Pilcher Homes Consultation Expiry Date 20 August 2013 Case Officer: Rachel Tyas Expected Decision Level DEL

Ref No: 13/02509/FUL
Location: 69 Hunters Way York YO24 1JL
Proposal: Single storey rear extension with balcony on roof and pitched roof to existing porch and garage
Applicant: Ms Susan Dial Contact Mr Chris Allan Consultation Expiry Date 20 August 2013 Case Officer: Heather Fairy (Mon – Wed) Expected Decision DEL

Ref No: 13/02523/TCA
Location: 2 Chalfonts York YO24 1EX
Proposal: Fell Fir Tree in the Conservation Area
Applicant: Mr H Gordon Jones Consultation Expiry Date 20 August 2013 Case Officer: Esther Priestley Expected Decision Level DEL

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/

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

“Get York Building” survey to be published by Council?

The controversial survey on barriers to house builidng in York discussed by the York Cabinet last year may finally be made available to the public.

Behind closed doors logo

In response to a question from Ann Reid, the newly charmless Cllr Laign has said,

“I would remind Cllr Reid that the findings from the GYB consultation were summarised in the report considered by Cabinet in February.

The conversations with individual developers, as she should realise being an experienced Councillor, often touched on commercially sensitive information and as such has been deemed confidential and it is not appropriate for this to be shared with the wider public.

However, it is acknowledged that not all the information from developers is commercially sensitive and I have asked officers to prepare a redacted version”.

Latest Planning applications Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

Below is the latest planning application received by the York Council last week. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Location: 8 Eden Close York YO24 2RD Ref No: 13/02271/ Proposal: Erection of single storey extension extending 5 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.3 metres and a total height of 3.35 metres Applicant: Mr J Bailey Contact Mr G Sutcliffe Consultation Expiry Date 12 August 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level DEL

Location: Acomb Wood Acomb Wood Drive York Ref No: 13/02461/TPO Proposal: Remove lowest branches from Oak (T1,T2) over 78 Ryecroft Avenue, Trees protected by Tree Preservation Order No 10 Applicant: Mr Andrew Giordano Consultation Expiry Date 12 August 2013 Case Officer: Esther Priestley Expected Decision Level DEL ht

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/

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

Local Plan consultation “inadequate” say Lib Dems

Public consultation on controversial plans to build 22,000 houses in York has been labelled as “inadequate” by Liberal Democrat Councillors.

http://www.york.gov.uk/localplanSave the green belt poster Dringhouses

Labour run City of York Council’s eight-week public consultation on the Draft Local Plan, which began earlier this month, has seen the authority print 90,000 consultation leaflets – one for every household in York.

However, residents across York have contacted Lib Dem Councillors with some saying they have received two copies and others saying they are yet to receive a copy.

Problems have been reported in Huntington, Heworth Without, Heslington and Fulford while the Council has been forced to admit that 1-in-4 households in the Chapelfields area failed to receive the leaflets originally intended for them and re-delivery has had to be organised.
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