Hob Moor cycle and pedestrian tunnel set to close from tomorrow (Monday)


The pedestrian and cycle tunnel under the East Coast main railway line will be closed from tomorrow for 3 weeks.

The closure – which has not been widely advertised – is in connection with major electricity supply cable work taking place in the area

The tunnel forms part of the orbital cycle route which is used by hundreds of cyclists each day.

NB. Powergrid have also given notice of a supply cut in the Foxwood Lane area on Monday 16th June from 10:00am to 2:00pm


Hob Moor development concerns


After only a few days work on site, residents are already raising concerns about the timing and scale of activities being undertaken on the development at the former Our Lady’s school site.

Most concerns related to the removal of mature trees during the nesting season. It appears though that the trees removed so far are in line with the permission granted by the Planning Committee for the scheme, although confirmation of that – and any impact on bats which are known to roost in the area – is awaited.

Some work was apparently taking place on Saturday afternoon. Working hours were restricted by the planning permission.

Another issue raised was the width of the access road from Windsor Garth which is currently narrower than is normally required for access to new developments (5 metres).

Former Council Leader Andrew Waller has written to senior officials at the York Council raising concerns.

The former school buildings are due to be demolished over the next few weeks.



Hob Moor development starts

Our Lady's school site clearance started

Our Lady’s school site clearance started

Builders have moved onto the Our Lady’s school site and have started to fell trees.

The Our Lady’s school buildings will be demolished within the next 3 weeks.

School to be demolished in a few days time

School to be demolished in a few days time

Work has already started to provide an electricity power supply to the new housing development.

The whole scheme, which involves the erection of 55 new homes, is expected to take about 12 months to complete.

The building contractors have said that all site traffic will follow the Kingsway West/Ascot Way/ Ashford Place/Windsor Garth bus route to access the site.

Crumbling road surfaces on Windsor Garth

Crumbling road surfaces on Windsor Garth

Residents remain concerned about the poor state of the roads on the route, and in particular the rapidly deteriorating road humps, although whether it would be worth completing permanent repairs before the heavy traffic moves on, is open to question.

Hob Moor development – latest

Our Lady’s school site Windsor Garth

The Council has received details of how the developer intends to fulfil the planning conditions applied to the Our Lady’s school site development

Details of the Section 106 agreement for the development of the site have now been published. They reveal that of the 55 properties to be built on the site, 20 will be for social rent (housing association) while 21 will be at an “affordable” rent (usually 80% of the market rent).

click for more information

click for more information

The agreement allows the developer to pay a commuted sum to the Council instead of providing – through a social landlord – the rented accommodation on site.

The landlord is obliged to offer a free bus pass or free bicycle to the first occupier of the dwelling. Each property will have an external power socket to allow the recharging of electric vehicles.

The agreement also specifies the working hours for the site but is vague about access routes and – critically – to what extent plant will be allowed to move around Hob Moor itself.


Hob Moor development gets go ahead

Hungate, Askham Bryan, Terry’s, Lawrence Street also approved

Approved plan for Hob Moor site click to enlarge

Approved plan for Hob Moor site click to enlarge

The controversial house building plans for the former Our Lady’s school site on Windsor Garth were approved by the Planning Committee last night. It appears though that the scheme may now be referred to the Secretary of State for his views.

Although the revised plans were an improvement on those originally submitted, it remains a very dense development which will add further pressures to public services in the area.

No provision has been made to provide additional parking spaces for those vehicles which will be displaced from the access road.

Astonishingly no restrictions were imposed by the committee on the use of tracked plant outside the line of the existing railings, opening up the possibility that – in wet conditions – parts of the Moor adjacent to the site might be subject to severe damage.

Although most of the existing metal railings area now being retained – allowing the existing trees and bushes to remain in place as a visual screen – on the north side of the site a new wooden fence will be installed.

No reason has been given for replacing the railings with this inferior fence, which is likely to provide less security for both residents and the Moor.


The committee also approved development plans for offices in Hungate (Haymarket car park), an extension to Askham Bryan College, detailed design features on the Terry’s site as well as the provision of new student accommodation on Lawrence Street.

Hob Moor development latest – 19th December decision

A further report on the planned housing development on Windsor Garth has now been published for the Planning meeting which is taking place on 19th December 2013.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The application has been updated to reduce the number of properties by one, incorporate a small play area and retain the existing railings around part of the site.

These changes were notified to interested parties (previous objectors) on 4th December.

The changes will be welcomed by many residents.

The Council is also reducing its S106 payment requirements to reflect the on site “open space” provision but – without explanation – also scraps the payment of a commuted sum in lieu of the provision of school places.

Local residents comments

New Hob Moor development plans submitted

Most of the metal railings and screen planting protecting the Our Lady’s development site will be retained under new proposals received by the Council.

click to access

click to access

Yorkshire Housing have submitted revised proposals for the development of the Our Ladys site following the deferral of their application at the last planning committee meeting.

They can be viewed on the “Planning on Line” web site under reference 13/02892/FULM

The plans involve the retention of most of the perimeter railings although in one key section on the northern boundary (where security and landscape appearance are sensitive issues) they propose to remove them. The new fencing is described as being at “a lower level”

No justification for removing the railings from this section is included in the papers.

This raises the concern that the developers hope to move plant onto the site via Hob Moor itself. This could result in damage which would take decades to repair.

The existing, and supplemented, shrubs and trees along the boundary would be protected by a post and rail fence.

click to access plans

click to access plans

The new proposals result in the loss of one housing unit meaning that 55 are now likely to be built on the site. This is still a lot more than the 29 units which were included in the draft Local Plan when it was published in April.

The appearance of the homes is little changed.

A small play ground aimed at young children, plus an area of Public Open Space, is now included towards the north west of the development.

There have been changes to the road layout

However no changes to the “sustainability” of the development are proposed.

The architect has written to the Council to say that “My client has carried out exhaustive viability appraisals on the site; however, the jump to Code level 4 on this development cannot be achieved.

As you are aware the site was purchased on the open market in competition with Private developers who would be delivering the minimum Affordable housing across the site at Code 3.

We are policy compliant at code 3 and offering a much improved level of affordable housing with the required 10% renewables”.

Have a higher “sustainability” rating would mean that the homes were cheaper to run.

Hob Moor development plan put on hold

Our Lady's school site

Our Lady’s school site

The proposal to build 56 additional homes on the site of the former Our Lady’s school on Windsor Garth was tonight deferred for further consideration.

Concerns were expressed about the high density of the layout, the lack of play facilities or community space, the poor sustainability features of the homes plus the need to retain the existing metal security railings.

It is likely that a refined design will be submitted to a Planning Committee meeting next year.

Hob Moor development to get “go ahead” ?

Derelict school site next to Hob Moor

Derelict school site next to Hob Moor

Apparently Council officials are recommending that the 56 home development at the Our Lady’s school site be given the “go ahead”.

This despite a large number of objections and the proposal being in conflict with the Councils own rules on development densities.

The number of homes being proposed is almost twice the number agreed by the same planning department when they published the draft Local Plan earlier in the year.

It will be interesting to see how they manage to justify that particular policy somersault!

The planning application will be decided at the Planning-Committee meeting on 21 November 2013, at 4.30pm at West Offices, Station Rise, York.

The committee will visit the site at 12:45 pm on the Tuesday (17th November) before the meeting to familiarise themselves with the proposal and residents are also invited to attend.

Residents have the right to speak at the meeting. If you wish to speak, you must register this by telephoning (01904) 552062, and ask for Laura Bootland before 5:00pm on the last working day before the Committee meeting.

The proposal has been mired in controversy since a Labour cabinet member (Clr Merrett) publicly endorsed the scheme shortly after the planning application had been submitted, but before residents had been given the opportunity to comment.