Most of the land fenced off earlier in the year has now been handed back, although the area immediately behind the Hob Moor Terrace houses which has been cultivated as garden is still under dispute. The Council has written to the developer involved again and is waiting for a reply.
Meanwhile Health and Safety works are being undertaken on the site. Work has been carried on the trees that were identified as being dangerous, the building has been demolished, metal and debris in the ground is too be removed and the gas vents on the meadow repaired. All these works should be complete by the end of October.
Two notice boards are on order and will be funded by the Ward Committee.
The Ward Committee recently held a special meeting for residents to discuss the problems they encounter with overflow parking from the College.
The College Principle outlined the parking policies of the College and the measures that they have taken to subsidise bus travel and increase walking and cycling.
There are only 46 less car parking spaces now than there were on the two old sites combined and although there has been a significant increase in the number of students using public transport, walking and cycling there has also been a significant increase in student numbers as the College reputation grows.
Councillors are now working with the College and Council Officers to come up with come solutions and a follow up meeting is expected to be held after Christmas.
Our Street Environment Officer has finally made contact with the owners of the shops who have agreed to repair the canopy along the shop fronts.
Notice has been served on the tenants on the flats above and work is due to start on “in the next few weeks”. She is also in correspondence with the Co-op who are responsible for most of the forecourt.
Hopefully we will see improvements soon. Meanwhile a suggestion that the flower beds could be planted with vegetables as part of the Edible York scheme received support at a recent Ward Committee.
The Edible York project would also support this but we will need volunteers to care for the beds.
Please contact me if you are interested in becoming involved.
The area of woodland closest to Acomb Wood Drive will be thinned this winter.
This area has been planted more recently than the majority of the woodland and work needs to be done to allow some trees to grow bigger and provide light to ground vegetation.
Work will also continue to improve the footpaths in the woodland. The area of footpath between the Quaker Wood Pub and the entrance onto Acomb Wood Drive is particularly muddy all year round as it goes through a hollow.
It is getting wider as people try to avoid the mud so the plan is to divert the footpath by cutting a new path through the neighbouring vegetation and blocking up the current one.
The section of vegetation to be removed is only approx. 20m long and hopefully the current path will grow over quickly. These plans have already been discussed with the Friends of Acomb Wood who support the work, and signage will be used to tell site users what is to be done and why.
The Council has reiterated its support to build a new Askham Bar Park and Ride following a request from the Government to resubmit the bid with an increased subsidy from the local taxpayer. The Wigginton Road site has been shelved but Poppleton and Askham Bar are still in the running for government funding.
The Council has now agreed to put in £6 million with about half of that likely to be borrowed. That means an annual cost of about £270,000 a year with this potentially being offset by the surplus fares income, which may be generated from the Askham Bar and Poppleton Bar sites combined.
A lot will depend on the specification for the new bus fleet which will serve these sites. The original intention was to seek ultra low emission vehicles (probably plug in hybrids) but this may not now be possible.
Residents in Moor Lane will be wondering what the future of the existing park and ride car park will be when the site moves to Sim Hills. Originally it was assumed that Tesco would buy the site as an extension to their car park however the figures assumed by the new Council suggest that some development on the site is a possibility (subject to planning consent).
So still a lot of questions to be answered if the project gets its formal “go ahead” by central government at the end of the year.
City of York Council are carrying out a consultation on the city’s new Local Development Framework Core Strategy, which sets out the development of York over the next 25 years.
The strategy has been recently revised by the new Labour administration, who have increased the housing targets for the city over the next 25 years from a target of 14,000 to more than 19,500.
The previous targets were agreed by the Lib Dem administration before the May elections and ensured that the need for additional housing was balanced with protecting the character of the city and preventing development on the green belt.
Labour’s increased targets however mean there will not be enough brownfield sites to accommodate development and so they have identified land in the green belt to be developed. By indentifying green belt land which can be developed, Labour have set a precedent which will mean it will be more difficult to prevent developers pushing for other areas of the green belt to be released.
You can help to protect York’s green belt by responding to the consultation on the Core Strategy and opposing Labour’s higher housing targets.
The consultation will be available at www.york.gov.uk/LDF/corestrategy and will run from 26th September to 7th November. Copies of the Core Strategy will also be made available at libraries and Explore Centres, October’s ward committee meetings, 9 St Leonard’s Place, Library Square and the Guildhall
The results of the consultation will be considered by an Independent Planning Inspector, who will be holding a public examination of the Core Strategy in 2012 before deciding if the plan is suitable for the City.
Residents in Woodthorpe are celebrating after they were able to secure funding to install a new fence to prevent anti-social behaviour near their homes.
The residents worked with local Liberal Democrat Councillor, Ann Reid to secure funding for the fence behind houses on Bramble Dene. The money came from the Council’s Target Hardening fund, which is designed to support projects which make areas less vulnerable to crime and anti-social behaviour.
The fence will ensure that access is prevented to small area of private land next to Chapman’s Pond, behind the houses on Bramble Dene. The previous fence had been knocked down and the area had since suffered from a number of problems with anti-social behaviour.
Thanks to close working between Councillor Reid and Council Officers the Council was able to install the fence the day after the funding was secured; meaning residents had an immediate solution to their problems.
Councillor Reid said residents were pleased with the new fence. She said, “Since the old fence was knocked down residents had been concerned by people accessing the area, there had been a number of problems with antisocial behaviour and some fires had been started.”
“The area also overlooks the nearby gardens and use of the area for unauthorised fishing in Chapman’s Pond meant that residents were being made to feel uncomfortable by the people overlooking their gardens.”
“Residents seem to be pleased with the outcome and will hopefully feel much more comfortable now this area has been fenced off. The new fence is much more secure than the old one and should hopefully provide a more permanent solution to keeping people off this private land.”
Work on resurfacing the footpath on Acorn Way is almost complete. Work is due to start on Highmoor Rd and Moorcroft Rd footpaths in May. Look out for road closure notices when the work is carried out on Moorcroft Rd. Dates for other works in the Ward have yet to be announced but you can find out when road works are due to start via the Council website. Go to http://www.york.gov.uk/transport/roads/works/ for the latest information.
Meanwhile details of gas main replacement works on Woodthorpe have been released.
Work starts on Brambledene on 23rd May and then moves onto Moorcroft Road, Summerfield Road, Wordsworth Crescent, Ryecroft Avenue, Windermere, Ullswater and Overdale Close finishing on Deepdale by 5th August. Work may also be carried out in Ashbourne Way, Acorn Way, Arundel Grove and Silverdale Court although no excavation is expected in those streets.
Following requests from residents, I asked for the white lines on Tadcaster Rd to be refreshed. This has now happened and they are looking very smart.
A sponsorship deal has allowed the Tesco roundabout to receive a makeover. Shrubs have been removed and flowerbeds created and this, together with the planters on the grass verge outside Tesco will help create a good impression for the Britain in Bloom judges.
The Ward Committee will be funding another bollard on Pulleyn Drive at the junction with White House Dale to prevent damage to the verge. Flooding problems at the bottom of Pulleyn Drive have been reported to the Council.
City of York Council Library staff will be attending the next Ward Committee meeting on July 7th at Dringhouses School to outline the changes coming to the library soon, in particular the Explore concept and details of the new “self issuing” machines. Hopefully this will help scotch the rumour, put about during the election campaign that Dringhouses Library was at risk. As outlined in a previous Focus, the Liberal Democrat budget ensured that all of York’s libraries would stay open with a business plan supporting their evolution to Explore libraries.