Surprise at Sim Balk Lane development plans

Local councillors and residents were taken by surprise when a poster board appeared at the junction of Sim Balk Lane and Tadcaster Road advertising “another development opportunity by Gateway Developments.”

The poster helpfully displays a web address –

The website of the developers, Gateway, sets out an ambition to develop four sites – two in Dringhouses either side of Sim Balk Lane, and two in Bishopthorpe on Church Lane and Copmanthorpe Lane.

In Dringhouses, the developers have identified 25 hectares of Green Belt land either side of Sim Balk Lane, highlighted in red on the map below, which they claim is suitable for “mixed use development comprising of residential, care home, hotel and leisure.” Neither site is earmarked for development in York’s emerging Local Plan.

The developers envisage that these two sites could accommodate 247 new homes, or could lend themselves to a mixed-use development, claiming that “this site would offer a great opportunity for a hotel in close proximity of the sites next to the college, similarly providing scope and expansion of the college facilities.”

The developers state that “the site, due to its current land uses, does not have an effect upon the historic visual character of the city of York and will enhance the surrounding developed sites with employment opportunities and facilities.”

No mention is made of the impact that any development would have on an already congested highways network in this part of the city, or how these impacts might be mitigated.

Local councillors will update residents as and when we learn more about the developers’ plans.

Travellers set up camp in Dringhouses

We have been contacted by a number of local residents who are concerned about a traveller camp that has appeared on a football pitch at the rear of York College. It is located off a cycle and footpath to the south of the ‘Revival’ housing estate off the Askham Bar roundabout.

A particular concern is the fact that a wooden bollard has been removed where the cycle path meets the green lane path. Vehicles are now driving along this well-used walking and cycling route.

The Police, York College and City of York Council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement team have been notified.

Neighbourhood enforcement action

We are pleased to report that the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers have been actively pursuing issues across Dringhouses &Woodthorpe ward.

The team has received complaints about worsening litter problems in the area around York College, and in response have been patrolling the area and advising students that littering is an offence.

Previous litter picks in the area near the College have yielded a bumper haul of litter

Previous litter picks in the area near the College have yielded a bumper haul of litter

Whilst on patrol, the team has witnessed littering offences, and have issued:

  • Two litter Fixed Penalty Notices (one relating to College students)
  • Three litter warnings (all related to College students)
  • Two littering offences pending further investigation (both relating to College students)

There are also plans to install a ‘No flytipping’ sign on Moor Lane.

One fixed penalty notice has been issued for cars advertised for sale on the highway.

The team has been dealing with an ongoing noise complaint for dog barking, and has successfully served a noise abatement notice on the residents.

First York announce changes to bus services

Number 4 to loop through Skeldergate – direct link between Acomb and York University broken

First buses have responded to complaints about unreliability and lack of capacity on some bus services.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

A major change to the number 4 – the best used bus service in the City – means that it will no longer travel to the University. Instead it will loop through Skeldergate and over Skeldergate Bridge to reach its new terminus on Clifford Street. There are frequent buses from there to the University.

The last change to the route of the number 4  -which took the service on a meandering journey through Tang Hall before reaching Heslington – was heavily criticised by passengers. On occasions 3 or 4 buses would arrive in Acomb in convoy. We hope that the new service – which retains a 10 minute frequency during the day – will prove to more reliable when it is introduced on 22nd November.  The Sunday frequency will be 20 minutes while buses will continue to run every 30 minutes in the evening.

An additional morning service will be provided between Dunnington and York College on Tadcaster Road

Other changes affect service 6 (which gets a direct link to York University) and service 10 which will run via Battlefields Way with an early morning service between Bishopthorpe and the railway station also being introduced. 

Some minor timetable changes are promised on the number 1 service which links Chapelfields to Wigginton. A twelve minute frequency is promised at peak times between Monday and Friday.