Housing growth forecasts scaled back in York

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A new study has confirmed that fewer homes need to be built in the York area over the next few years than previously forecast. In 2010 consultants GVA were commissioned to undertake a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) on behalf of the North Yorkshire Strategic Housing Partnership.
It provides and assessment of recent and current trends in housing supply and demand and helps in understanding the broad impact of economic and demographic trends and the various factors which drive the demand or need of different households for different types of housing.

The new study suggests that the City will need between 686 and 800 new homes each year.

This is less than the Council has included in its Local Development Plan and will help to sustain the argument, likely to be put at the public examination of the plan later in the year, that the City does not need to reserve large parts of green belt land for potential development.

North Yorkshire Police mobile safety camera routes 7 – 13 March 2012

North Yorkshire Police will be carrying out mobile safety camera enforcement on the following (York area) roads between Wednesday 7 March and Tuesday 13 March 2012.

•A64 east-bound carriageway Bowbridge Farm Tadcaster
•A1237 Monks Cross, York
•The Village, Stockton-on-the-Forest, York
•A1036 Malton Road, York
•A64 west-bound carriageway, Bowbridge Farm, Tadcaster
•Broadway, Fulford, York
•Murton Way,Murton, York
•Fordlands Road, Fulford, York
•A64 Malton by-pass Malton east and westbound
•A64 between Whitwell Hill and Barton Hill
•A64 between Barton-le-Willows and Jinnah

The mobile safety cameras will be in operation at the above sites at various times during the dates stated. Cameras will not be in use on the above routes all day, every day.

B1227 Clifford Street/Tower Street Footway Alterations and Carriageway Reconstruction

City of York Council will carry out footway alterations and carriageway reconstruction and resurfacing works from the junction of Coppergate to the access road to the Principal Courts/Castle Museum from 12 March for approximately two weeks.

Preparatory work involving footway widening for new bus stops between Lower Friargate and Cumberland Street and opposite the Magistrates Courts is ongoing at present. This work is being carried out under temporary traffic signals.

The carriageway resurfacing works are programmed to start on the 12 March, working from 7am to 11pm. To carry out the carriageway works safely, a 24-hour one-way lane closure will be necessary for the whole period of the works to prevent traffic entering the City from the Tower Street/Skeldergate Bridge end. At the citybound point of closure, a signed diversion route will operate via Skeldergate Bridge, Nunnery Lane, Station Road, Rougier Street and Low Ousegate to the Coppergate end point of closure.

Anyone needing vehicular access to Clifford Street/Tower Street from adjacent side streets or properties, will need to follow the one-way outbound traffic flow.

Bus stops will be relocated during the times of the works and notices will be posted to redirect passengers to the nearest available bus stop.

The Contractor carrying out the work will be City of York Council Highways.

For more information about bus diversions, please see the council’s website at www.york.gov.uk/transport/Public_transport/buses/Clifford_Street/

Ward committee budget for Dringhouses and Woodthorpe could be less than £5000

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There may be less than £5000 to spend on improvements in the Dringhouses Ward over the next financial year according to figures obtained from the Council.

The current years budget was around £40,000.

Although a small “pot” is being retained for local voluntary groups -and there is a promise of an allocation of £19k for “needy areas” – it is clear that the crime prevention, parking and play provision programmes will now go “on the shelf” until after the next Council elections in 2015.

York Central access routes discussed

Chancery Rise possible access route. Click to enlarge

A Council working group is discussing today what the new road layouts may be as a result of the redevelopment of the land behind the station (York central) and the former British Sugar site on Boroughbridge Road.

Most interest is likely to be generated by the illustrations indicating how the area around the station might look if the Queen Street bridge is demolished (see right).

However, the report also names Chancery Rise (the former access to the carriage works) as the potential major access to York Central. The route would run parallel to Wilton Rise and could affect the Cleveland Street playground.

This route would be the cheapest to build at an estimated cost of £9.1 million.

Other alternatives near the Holgate Business Park are still being evaluated. These options would also have some amenity impact on adjacent residential properties on Renshaw Gardens, and require re-provision of existing open space.

It is likely that a second access would be provided from Water End near the Millennium Green. This is likely to be towards the end of the development period .

Some other local access routes into the site from Leeman Road are also now planned.

The Council report is weak on indicative costs. There is no split between the assumptions being made on developer ( S106) contributions and public sector liabilities.

There is also a need for clarity on proposed access arrangements through the Marble Arch Bridge. There are massive implications on the rest of the City’s road network and these need to be modelled as soon as possible.

Residents will expect (and need) informed consultation with choices. There is a major possibility of confrontation with some Leeman Road/Holgate Road residents if they are not given more information quickly and in an accessible format (the Council report contained 450 pages with other supporting papers only being available on the web).

There is also a need to address issues like the provision of off site parking (for York Central residents) at – for example – the park and ride site

This development is currently effectively on the shelf because of its costs. It will go ahead at some stage – the only issue is “when”. The time available needs to be spent separating the “nice to have” (demolishing Queens Street Bridge?) from the “essential” (the bridge access from Boroughbridge Road), if an early start is to be brokered.


Liberal Democrats on the City of York Council have announced that they have called in the Cabinet report which lays out the plans for the future structure of Ward committees. The report, which had been set to go before the Labour Cabinet on Tuesday 4th March, will now be subject to further scrutiny before being considered.

The plans lay out ideas to make fundamental changes the current system in which Councillors and council officers hold meetings in local areas so that residents can have their say on schemes in local schemes. Critics of the Labour Cabinet’s plans argue that the changes suggested will have a negative effect on Councillors’ links with their local communities.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said “The plans Labour have put forward are unclear, rushed and poorly thought out. They come on the back of huge cuts to Ward Committee funding for local projects, meaning that the result of the changes suggested would be poorer relations with local communities and a reduction in services for local residents.”

She went on to highlight the rushed nature of the process. This has resulted in the plans being brought forward without consultation with local councillors. She said “It appears that instead of Labour coming up with a carefully thought out plan, they voted to cut the budget by 65% and are now trying to pull together a system which will fit what is left.”

Cllr Runciman added “We presented an alternative budget which would have reversed the cut to Ward Committee funding. Liberal Democrats believe the council should not be in this position, but now that we are, we need to make sure that the system created is the best possible one for the people of York. A rushed approach like this is not the way to achieve that.”

Free compost offer

City of York Council and Yorwaste have teamed up to give local residents free compost this spring and summer.

Green fingered gardeners will be able to collect their free compost from Yorwaste’s Harewood Whin site, on Tinker Lane, off Wetherby Road on:

• Sunday 4 March
• Sunday 1 April
• Sunday 6 May
• Sunday 3 June
• Sunday 8 July
• Sunday 5 August
• Sunday 2 September
• Sunday 7 October

The compost will be available from 9.30am until 2.30pm each day and residents are asked to bring a shovel and bags or containers to take the compost home in.

Craig Capper, Harewood Whin Site Manager, Yorwaste, said: “Last year the Giveaways were really successful and residents took around 2,320 tonnes of compost. We hope that this year, we will give away even more.”

For further information residents can visit www.york.gov.uk/waste

Residents collecting signatures on petition outside Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre

Andrew Waller and Richard Hill collecting signatures on the Beckfield Lane petition today.

About half a dozen residents were outside the Beckfield Lane recycling centre today collecting signatures on the “Save Beckfield Lane Recycling Centre” petition.

Around 100 signatures were collected in the first hour with many users taking forms away to collect more support.

Volunteers are required to help collect signatures at the centre on Sunday. Ring Andrew on 337757 or Reuban on 781589 if you can help or if you would like a poster or car sticker to display.