York Local Plan: 14,000 objections to city wide consultation

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Thousands of residents and businesses along with other organisations have responded to City of York Council‘s extensive city wide consultation which will help shape the development of York’s future Local Plan.

The figures and initial feedback are outlined in a report to be taken to the Local Plan Working Group on Monday 4 November, available to view click here

The papers list petitions received and these include objections to the development of land on Moor Lane opposite Woodthorpe.

Statutory bodies have criticised the proposal to increase the size of the City with English Heritage saying that they would harm the special character of York while Leeds University says that the growth figures are wrong.

The North Yorkshire County Council is critical, while the Highways Agency records concerns about the impact the plan would have on transport systems.

However most of the individual objections are still being analyzed by Council officials.

Even the Council Leadership have acknowledged that the number of objections are the largest ever received in response to a Council proposal.

York City centre shopper decline started in 2012

York City centre "to let"

York City centre “to let”

The calamitous decline in the number of shoppers in the City centre first became apparent in 2012.

In that year, the new Labour administration increased car parking charges by 20p for residents.

Yearly footfall figures click to enlarge

Yearly footfall figures click to enlarge

In 2013 they went up again meaning that residents faced a 36% hike in just 2 years.

We forecast that this could have major implications for City centre traders.

The additional traffic restrictions have simply accelerated the downward spiral with “to let” notice springing up all around the City centre as shops pull out.

In the period up to 2011 the, then LibDem led, Council had frozen parking charges.

It had even reduced them at an innovatory “shoppers car park” at Foss Bank.

Footfall figures reveal that for the first 3 years of the recession (2008 – 2011) the numbers accessing the City centre were remarkably stable.

2012 saw a 6% reduction while this increased to 12% comparing September 2013 with the same month in 2012.

Bus Journeys in York Click to enlarge

Bus Journeys in York Click to enlarge

New traffic restrictions were blamed for the accelerating trend.

Meanwhile the numbers of bus passengers has also fallen away although the Council has so far refused to reveal the 2012 passenger numbers.

As we said yesterday, the Council seems to be frozen into inactivity with no real idea what to do to get itself out of the self created crisis.

Nero showed a greater sense of urgency.

House prices in York

Shelter has issued another report claiming that there are not enough “affordable” homes for families to buy in York.

This is probably true but not to the extent that is claimed.

As with much other research data the figures are bedevilled by the use of average income figures.

It matters little what percentage of properties on the market are “affordable”. The key figure is the gross number available.

The key to whether there are “enough” affordable homes for sale rests with much more simple question.

What income would a family with 2 children need to be able to afford to buy a 2 or 3 bedroomed property in the City?

Foxwood Lane to rent

Foxwood Lane to rent

Terrington Court to rent

Terrington Court to rent

Front Street to rent

Front Street to rent

Crombie Avenue for sale

Crombie Avenue for sale

Hatfield Walk to buy

Hatfield Walk to buy

Bramham Avenue to buy

Bramham Avenue to buy

There are numerous properties currently advertised for under £100,000 in York. Most are, however, flats and are unlikely to appeal to families. (click images right and left for details)

• The cheapest 2 bedroomed house is advertised at £112,500 (Bramham Avenue)

• A similar 2 bed terrace in Kingsway West is advertised for £116,995.

• The cheapest 3 bedroomed house is available in Hatfield Walk for £124,950.

• A 3 bedroomed property in Barkston Close will cost £130,000

• The cheapest 4 bedroomed property can be found in Crombie Avenue for £165,000.

• A 4 bedroomed bungalow in Coniston Close in Rawcliffe is advertised at £177,000

• The cheapest 5 bedroomed property can be found in Osbaldwick Lane for £200,000.

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• On the rental market a 2 bed terrace on Front Street can be had for £495 pcm

• The cheapest 3 bedroomed property is in Terrington Court in Strensall

• The cheapest 4 bedroomed property available to rent can be found on Foxwood Lane at £750 pcm.

It is the price of (privately) rented property that is the biggest issue in York at present.

This is partly influenced by the boom in student lets.

A number of new student halls of residence have recently been given planning permission in the City including the Press site.

There has been a boom in planning applications this year with many brownfield sites set to produce many more homes than were included in the draft Local Plan assumptions.

Latest planning application Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

Location: 4 Olivias Court Nelsons Lane York YO24 1HD

Proposal: Single storey front extension

Ref No: 13/03241/FUL

Applicant: Mr Fraser Brown Contact Miss Kate Fewson Consultation Expiry Date 11 November 2013Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level DEL
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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.

York Labour Councillors reveal cunning plan?

Site capacity for new homes - draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Site capacity for new homes – draft Local Plan. click to enlarge

Labour Councillor Dave Merrett seems to have overstepped accepted guidelines when welcoming a planning application for the Our Lady’s school site.

He was quoted in the local paper as supporting a plan to build 56 homes on the site – almost double the number allocated in the Local Plan that Cllr Merrett approved in the spring.

If approved at the meeting on 21st November, the proposal would mean that the green space, school nature reserve and children’s playground will all be lost.

Normally executive Councillors avoid commenting publicly on planning applications once they have been submitted. They allow normal consultation with residents to take place before a cross party planning committee meeting decides on the merits of each proposal.

A public intervention by an executive Councillor could be deemed to be putting undue pressure on the planning officers who work in his department and who will author reports recommending approval or rejection of an application.

Officials are understood to have said already that the density on the development – at 82 homes per hectare based on the existing built footprint- is in excess of what would normally be permitted in a sub-urban location.

Meanwhile the Council Leader is also interfering in the planning processes.

Following on from his public opposition to converting unused shops into residential accommodation, he told the last Council meeting, when questioned about the higher number of housing units coming forward on brownfield sites that,

sessions site

sessions site

“the important distinction between the positions of the Liberal Democrats, and the Conservatives it has to be said, is that the other parties believe those living in central wards should have housing built on any spare piece of land anywhere near them and outer wards should continue to enjoy protection against any development anywhere near them”.

“The truth is housing should be built in both central and outer areas where it can be shown to contribute to tackling the city’s housing crisis at the same time as protecting residents’ local amenity”.

In fact over recent months it is central area sites that are seeing high densities proposed with Our Lady’s school only the latest in a long line which includes the former Press offices in Walmgate, the Burnholme club and several dozen others.

The Council Leader may, however, be confused about what constitutes “central wards”.

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NB. The Planning committee will consider next week a proposal to build 59 homes on the former Sessions site on Huntington Road. Of these 20% will be “affordable”

The density of the proposed development is just over 32 dwellings per hectare, and would be more densely developed than the surrounding residential areas. However this figure appears to be in conflict with the figures shown in the draft Local Plan.

The draft Local plan showed only 17 homes being built on this (0.47 hectare) site

Latest planning applications Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Location: 3 Bannisdale York YO24 2YA

Proposal: Replacement roof to garage (Application to extend time period for implementation of permission 10/01813/FUL)

Ref No: 13/03277/FUL

Applicant: Brian Richardson Consultation Expiry Date 4 November 2013 Case Officer: Elizabeth Potter Expected Decision Level DEL
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Location: 27 Acomb Wood Close York YO24 2SN

Proposal: Crown lift to approx. 4m, Crown clean and Crown reduce OAK, (T1), Tree Protected by Tree Preservation Order No CYC81

Ref No: 13/03323/TPO

Applicant: Mrs D Horner Contact Jonathan Slight Consultation Expiry Date 4 November 2013 Case Officer: Esther Priestley Expected Decision Level D
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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.

Latest Planning application Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward.

Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Location: 57 Middlethorpe Grove York YO24 1LE
Proposal: Two storey side and single storey rear extension
Ref No: 13/03175/FUL
Applicant: Mr And Mrs Fearns Contact Mr Howard Berry Consultation Expiry Date 25 October 2013 Case Officer: Sharon Jackson 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.

List of Dringhouses and Woodthorpe planning applications decided in September

Location: 2 Alness Drive York YO24 2XZ
Proposal: Erection of single storey extension extending 4.825 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.5 metres and a total height of 3.575 metres
Ref No: 13/02944/LHE Applicant: D Poole Decision Type:DEL Decision: LHEPER Conditions? N
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Location: 23 Middlethorpe Drive York YO24 1NG
Proposal: Erection of single storey extension extending 4.1 metres beyond the rear wall of the original house, with a height to the eaves of 2.3 metres and a total height of 3.4 metres
Ref No: 13/02888/LHE Applicant: Mr And Mrs Bullock Contact Kate Macneill Contact Tel: kate.macneill@mac-architecture.com Decision Type:DEL Decision: LHEPER Conditions? N
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Location: 69 Hunters Way York YO24 1JL
Proposal: Single storey rear extension with balcony on roof and pitched roof to existing porch and garage
Ref No: 13/02509/FUL Applicant: Ms Susan Dial Contact Mr Chris Allan Contact Tel: ca.archs@yahoo.co.uk Decision Type:DEL Decision: HAPP Conditions? Y
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Location: 1 Allendale York YO24 2SF
Proposal: Single storey side extension
Ref No: 13/02155/FUL Applicant: Mrs Margaret Gosling Contact Mr Keith Wilkinson Decision Type:COMM Decision: HAPP Conditions? Y

Press and Labour Councillor in muddle over planning appeal

Westview Close

Westview Close

Yorkshire Post and York Press readers will today be wondering why a Westfield Labour Councillor was given a platform to sound off about a housing development which he obviously thought was in his ward.

As we reported several weeks ago, a planning Inspector has overturned a Council decision and has allowed a small 8 home development to be built on Westview Close.

Westview Close is actually located in the Rural West ward, adjacent to the Civil Service Sports field.

It is about 1 mile away from the Westfield Ward.

It appears that the media have provoked “local” Westfield ward Councillor Dafydd Williams to condemn the decision amidst a confused diatribe about the need to establish a “Green Belt” boundary.

We have news for him. There is a Green Belt boundary and it is protected by the government.

All that has changed over the last year, is that Labour have proposed taking greenfield sites, like the Civil Service Sports field, out of the Green Belt.

Latest Planning applications Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward

Below are the latest planning applications received by the York Council for the Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward. Full details can be found by clicking the application reference

Reference 13/03175/FUL Alternative Reference PP-02908982

Address 57 Middlethorpe Grove York YO24 1LE

Proposal Two storey side and single storey rear extension

Application Received Tue 24 Sep 2013 Status Pending Consideration

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Reference 13/03176/TCA

Address National Trust Regional Office Goddards 27 Tadcaster Road Dringhouses York YO24 1QG

Proposal Fell Robinia (T2), Crown reduce Black Poplars x 3, and Pollard White Willow (T3), Trees in the Conservation Area

Application Received Tue 24 Sep 2013 Status Pending Consideration
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Reference 13/03180/FUL

Address 4 The Horseshoe York YO24 1LX

Proposal First and second floor rear extension

Application Received Mon 23 Sep 2013 Status Pending Consideration
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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.