Major changes to garden centre at Poppleton planned

site plan. Click to enlarge

The Councils Planning committee will be asked to agree to the erection of sales building and canopies, restoration of nursery growing area and new landscaping following demolition of buildings and removal of hard standings at the Poppleton Garden Centre.

The application is for the erection of a sales building following the demolition of the existing garden centre building. The rectangular building measures 56.4 metres along the north and south elevation and 74.4 metres along the east and west elevations. There would be two canopies; to the north and east elevations. The garden centre building would include a restaurant/cafe area. The footprint of the building would be 4688sqm; including the canopies it would be 6116sqm. The external plant sales area excluding the canopies would be 2850sqm. The existing garden centre building has a footprint of 3760sqm and the canopies are 515sqm.

In addition it is the intention to use the land to the south of the building for the growing plant stock for the garden centre. There would be a reduction in the size of the car park from 266 spaces to 246 spaces to provide more landscaping in the north western corner of the site adjacent to the vehicle junction. The site plans shows trees planted within the car park. In addition a pedestrian access point would be added in the northern boundary next to the existing crossing island on the A59.

The site is within the Greenbelt and just outside the Poppleton Settlement Limit. There are dwellings and a plant nursery to the north and east. There is a restaurant and veterinary practise to the west of the site. Park and Ride facilities have been granted planning permission to the west of the site on the other side of Northfield Lane. To the south of the site are fields.

Officials are recommending the approval of the planning application subject to a referral to the Secretary Of State as the site is within the green belt.

Council officials recommend “go ahead” for City centre student accommodation

site plan Click to enlarge

A planning application will be considered on Thursday for a vacant,” unkempt” site between Carmelite Street and the Shambles multi-storey car park. The site is at the edge of the Hungate site, which is currently being developed in phases.

According to the approved Masterplan the proposed building would front onto St John’s Square, a public space and focal point at the centre of Hungate, across Carmelite Street would be a 4-6 storey (6-storey facing the application site) building comprising of shops and business at ground floor level and residential above. To the southeast would be a 5- 6-storey residential building and a 4-storey car park.

The site is outside the Central Historic Core Conservation Area which terminates at the River Foss and includes the land to the west of the telephone exchange building. The site is designated as an area at high risk of flooding and is included in the Hungate action area, where the local plan seeks to deliver 1 hectare of premier employment land and a mix of residential, retail, community, cultural and leisure uses.

The application proposes an 8-storey building that would provide student accommodation, 258 bedrooms in total. There is an extant permission to develop the site for offices and the proposed building retains the building height approved in that scheme.

Officers are recommending approval of the planning application which will be considered by the Planning Committee on Thursday

Update on suspected drugs death in York – safety warning issued

North Yorkshire Police are continuing to investigate the suspected drugs-related death of a 16-year-old girl in York.

Paramedics were called to a house in the Tang Hall area at about 11.25pm on Thursday (19 April 2012). The girl was taken to York District Hospital where she was pronounced dead in the early hours of Friday (20 April 2012) following attempts to resuscitate her.

A 21-year-old local man, believed to be connected to the incident, is in a serious but stable condition. He was taken to York District Hospital by a friend.

A 23-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, both from York, have been arrested in connection with the investigation and remain in custody for questioning.

Police enquiries have been ongoing in and around the address at Tang Hall as officers work to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident.

Witnesses or anyone with information that could assist the investigation are urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and select option 1.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Please quote reference number 12120062307.

Safety warning…

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Travelling criminals hit hard by ANPR team

North Yorkshire Police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) team have again proved why the technology is one of the most effective tools available to the police service.

In the last financial year, the force’s ANPR team have seized £1,350,160 worth of stolen property, vehicles and drugs, summonsed 1,588 people to court and have made 88 arrests.

•1,025 fixed penalty notices have been issued by the team, mainly for motoring offences.
•523 vehicles have been seized for having no insurance, or because the driver using the did not have a valid licence.
•88 people were arrested for offences including theft, drugs, burglary, motoring offences and people wanted on warrants.
•Over 700 vehicles or people have been searched.
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Numbers of Job Seekers Allowance claimants in York fall

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in York has fallen with the city having one of the lowest number of claimant rates in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

The number of people claiming JSA in York fell by 61 in March to 3615 (2.6 per cent of the working age population). York also had the lowest percentage increase in claimants from March 2011 to March 2012 at 1.2 per cent – significantly lower than the rest of the region with the next smallest increase being in Selby (5.5 per cent).

York also has the lowest number of claimants aged between 18-24 in the region, at only 3.4 per cent.
The Centre for Cities, an independent think tank, has placed York in the top ten cities in the country with the lowest percentage point increase in JSA claimants between February 2008 and March 2012.

Chief Constable praises “remarkable” effort to reduce crime by 9 percent

North Yorkshire Police are continuing to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

Performance figures for the last financial year – 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 – show a 9% reduction in crime.

This is 3,630 fewer victims of crime compared to the previous year, with a total of38,765.

Going by the Home Office-led statistics website, IQuanta, this places North Yorkshire Police as the best performing police force in the whole of England for 11 consecutive months based on crimes per 1000 population.

Anti-social behaviour has been reduced by 7% (3,065 fewer incidents) with a total of39,891.

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Home and outbuilding security

More than a third of all burglaries are crimes of opportunity, where the burglar enters through unlocked doors or windows. Keep your home secure.

According to the Home Office, you are ten times more likely to be burgled if you don’t have basic security – even something as simple as putting strong locks on your doors and windows will keep your house much safer.

Nationwide, burglary has fallen by nearly 60% since 1995 – but criminals are opportunists who will take advantage of any chance to steal from you, so you should remain aware.

Securing your home
If you want to be certain your home is as safe as you can make it, here are ten top tips you should follow:

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Front Street Acomb robbery

North Yorkshire Police were called at around 10.10am on Wednesday 18 April 2012 after reports that a cash delivery man had been robbed on Front Street in Acomb.

The man was assaulted by men wearing balaclavas who stole a cash box containing a sum of money before leaving the scene in a car.

It is believed the vehicle made off in the direction of Carr Lane.

The cash delivery man has been taken to York District Hospital for treatment to a head injury sustained in the incident.

Officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed the robbery to get in touch.

Detective Sergeant Mandy Grundy, of York CID, said:
“Clearly we need to identify who was responsible for this incident as soon as possible.

“There will have been numerous people on Front Street at the time of the robbery and I urge anyone who witnessed the incident or knows who the suspects are to contact the police or Crimestoppers as soon as they can.”

Anyone who can help officers with their enquiries is urged to contact York CID on 101.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference number NYP-18042012-0103.

Acomb police station seeks volunteers to man counter

Wanted: hard-working volunteers

North Yorkshire Police are looking for volunteers to help extend the front counter service at Acombpolice station.

Acomb police station reopened its doors to the public in March 2011 to allow residents to meet local officers, report crime and discuss any concerns they have about issues in their area.

The front counter, which is staffed solely by volunteers, is currently open for two hours per day, five-days-a-week and due to the popularity of the service amongst local people, officers are looking to extend the opening hours.

Anyone who is interested in volunteering and helping to enhance an already successful and popular local service is welcome to apply.

PC Colin Park, of Acomb police, said:
“The front counter is a service which the community really values and the hard work and dedication of our volunteers has significantly contributed to its success.

“Since the station reopened to the public, we have seen an improvement in the relationship between the public and the police which is helping us to identify local issues and tackle them effectively.

“By recruiting more volunteers it will enable us to extend the service we can offer and be even more successful in meeting the needs of local people.”

During the first six months of the front counter being reopened there were 100 enquiries from members of the public. In the second six months a further 300 people have made use of the service.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for Nigel Drayton, Volunteers Coordinator.

Eco cabs progress?

Renault Fluence

We ran a story in February which urged the York Council to be more positive about the introduction of low emission taxis and hire cars into the city.

We were pleased to see that the Council is being recommended next week to approve additions to the list of approved vehicles which can be used as taxis. They will, for the first time, include hybrid powered vehicles.

Preference for new licences will be given to those who are prepared to register a low emission vehicle.

While this is progress, it does not address the more fundamental issue of infrastructure. Without recharging points at taxi ranks it is unlikely that the plug in hybrids will find favour with drivers, while the limited range of pure battery powered vehicles would make their use impractical.

We hope that the Council will address that issue quickly. They should also ensure that low emission cabs are easilly identifiable by potential customers – so that they can choose them in preference to ordinary vehicles if they wish.

The regulations are also being changed to include the following paragraph;
“The council will be sympathetic towards the introduction of taxi buses for use in rural areas and work with possible future providers to investigate how such services may be introduced”.

There is no reason for the Council to restrict potential taxi bus use to rural areas. Off peak services in parts of the urban area also represent an opportunity for this type of service.

Unfortunately, when tenders were invited to provide such a link to part of the Heworth area last year, the Council received no response what so ever from taxi operators.