Mystery surrounds Hob Moor development

The new development at the former Our Lady’s school site has been hit by the failure of its building contractor.

Hobstones building work

All the “for sale” units have been reserved and work is well advanced.

Media reports say that Southdale have gone into administration but the effect – if any – on the controversial Hob Moor development is unclear.

The developers – Yorkshire Housing – have not issued a statement nor has the York Council which claimed to have facilitated the development

There is no information on the Hobstones web site

Last November Southdale described the development as;

“Fourteen of the 55 homes at Hobstone will be for sale and the rest of the homes will available to rent at below market rates to families on average or low incomes.

Located on the site of the former Our Lady’s Primary school the houses look out onto Hob Moor. Built by Southdale and designed by award-winning architects Brewster Bye, the homes offer high quality energy, efficient accommodation with decent sized rooms and tasteful fittings”.

The for sale units proved to be popular with prices around £170,,000.

The development became controversial when the Labour Council almost doubled the number of units to be built on the former school site with local residents voicing concerns about “over-development” and fearing an adverse impact on Hob Moor and local traffic volumes.

Only one plot remaining at Hob Moor “Hobstone” development

Only one of the new houses being built on the Windsor Garth development is still for sale according to developers.

Hobstone brochure

The remaining property is a 2 bedroomed house which is listed at £170,000.

14 of the 55 units being built on the site are for sale (the rest will be rented by Yorkshire Housing)

The development has been criticised, not least for it’s high density levels. Originally the site was to have had only 29 units constructed. They would have been restricted to the “footprint” of the old school building.

Completion of the development later this year can’t come soon enough for existing residents living  in the area.

They blame construction traffic for damage to local roads, footpaths, verges and the Moor itself.

Damage to Hob Moor

Residents have raised concerns about damage to Hob Moor being caused by building works on the former Our Lady’s school site.

Parts of the moor have become waterlogged while local roads and footpaths have been damaged by access traffic.

Several sets of speed humps are now dangerous for cyclists.

Parking on the access road to the site is not possible forcing vehicles onto local residential roads. In turn this has made access for domestic delivery vehicles awkward.

The York council has yet to confirm that roads and footpaths will be included in the forthcoming years resurfacing programme. In the meantime emergency repairs are required.

Development site next to Hob Moor

Development site next to Hob Moor

Parts of Hob Moor now waterlogged and inaccessible

Parts of Hob Moor now waterlogged and inaccessible

Footpaths and roads dangerous following traffic and utility damage

Footpaths and roads dangerous following traffic and utility damage


Hob Moor nature reserve at risk

Farmer forced to remove cattle from nature reserve

Work is taking place on Hob Moor to install a new drain. The system will serve the new development on the former Our Lady’s school site.

It is understood that the work has forced a farmer to remove his cattle from the moor.

The development has always been unpopular with many as it was almost twice the size originally envisaged.

In addition the impact on traffic in the area is expected to be significant with many fearing that lack of parking space could cripple the estate. Already narrow roads like Ashford Place and Ascot Way are bearing the brunt of noise and vibration. from construction traffic.

However concerns about the Hob Moor nature reserve have been ignored by the Labour dominated planning committee when the developer has come back with several requests for modifications to their plans.

We understand that concerns have been raised with English Nature

Inadequate drainage in the area was one concern which led to a significant change to the site height about a month ago

Newbury Avenue development – Hob Moor fears

New Newbury development site layout, Click for large maps

New Newbury development site layout, Click for large maps

A new layout plan for the controversial 9 flat development on the garage area off Newbury Avenue has been published.

It is unlikely that many residents will have seen the plan as objectors have not been alerted to the changes.

The new layout increases the number of parking spaces to be provided to 16 with an additional 5 to be located on vacant land at the Newbury Drive/Windsor Garth junction.

This is the junction which is subject to ponding after heavy rain.

Unfortunately at the same time the Council has said that it won’t be acting quickly to deal with the lack of proper parking opposite Carlton House. Vehicles parking on the bend have caused the bus to mount the footpath on several occasions. It had been hoped that individual driveways for the house would have been provided across the green area with more parking for residents being constructed to the rear of the flats.

Poor drainage already a problem in Windsor Garth

Poor drainage already a problem in Windsor Garth

There is no news on where the occupants of the garages will park in future. It had been suggested that the Council should provide dropped kerbs/verge crossovers where the 24 garage occupants wanted to construct an alternative parking space in their gardens. This idea has not yet been taken forward.

The background papers for the development can be accessed by clicking here

The 3 storey buildings will prove eight 2 bedroomed flats and one single bedroomed unit. Access to each will be by an external walkway.

There are some big questions on drainage arrangements which are yet to be satisfactorily answered.

A report from the Councils protection unit concluded “Therefore, there is a plausible possibility that residual contaminants may be present onsite”. This arises from its former use as a waste disposal site in the 1950’s.

In a later objection the Unit expresses concern about methane gas levels in the area and says,

The soil sampling results identified elevated levels of lead, PAHs, arsenic and vanadium. Remedial work is therefore required, in order to ensure that the site is safe and suitable for its proposed use, and a remediation scheme must be submitted for our approval in due course”.

The ground conditions mean that piling will be required in the construction process.

It is expected that the application will be determined at a meeting which is scheduled to take place on 8th October.

York Council schedules meetings to discuss controversial issues

Lendal bridge fines and Hob Moor development proposals on the agenda for two meetings

  • The special all party meeting – which will review the Labour proposal not to notify drivers that they may be entitled to a refund of fines paid on Lendal bridge – will take place on Wednesday 27 August at 5pm (the agenda will be published on Monday 18 August).
  • New proposals which would see a significant change to the building plans on the former Our Lady’s school site are being discussed at a Planning Committee meeting being held on 21st August. The proposals involve raising the height of the site to facilitate better drainage. The plans have raised concerns about the effect that they may have on Hob Moor, existing properties and roads in the area. Click here to see the papers

Hob Moor tunnel closed

Footpath closed. Queue forms

Footpath closed. Queue forms

The Hob Moor to Tadcaster Road cycle/pedestrian route under the East Coast Railway line is now closed.

The closure is poorly signed from the Gale Lane and Windsor Garth access points onto the cycle path.

There is a diversion signed from Hob Moor Terrace but not using a route that visitors would find easy to follow.






Hob Moor development – builders want to pull down railings

click for larger map

click for larger map

Developers plan to tear down Our Lady’s housing site railings.

They say it will improve “permeability”

Retention of the railings was considered to be important by local residents, and supporters of the Hob Moor conservation area, as it provided some guarantee that domestic use would not creep onto the moor.

The railings will also provide good quality security for the gardens of the residents of the new homes.

The railings are relatively new and have a longer life than the proposed close boarded wooden alternative.

Details can be found by clicking here

The Council have not given a date by which residents objections must be received although they hope to determine the new planning application (using delegated powers) on 25th June.