Congestion adds to concerns over home building

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FOR many, the second battle of Fulford was lost when the Government approved plans to build a sprawling housing development in 2007 – but work has yet to start nearly six years on.

The multi-million pound scheme has sparked a wave of opposition since a planning application was submitted to the council in 2001. Alongside the concerns that the homes are due to be built on the site of the Battle of Fulford, there are fears over air pollution and increased traffic on York’s already congested roads.

Persimmon Homes is overseeing the plans to construct 657 homes on land which has been at the centre of planning wrangles dating back three decades when it was first earmarked for development.

York Council approved the planning application in 2005, before the Government called in the proposals and a public inquiry was held the following year.

The then Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly approved outline planning permission in May 2007. The consent permitted a five-year period for detailed plans – called reserved matters – to be submitted. The reserved matters application was lodged with the council in February last year, prior to a May deadline.

A total of 700 homes were initially planned, but reduced to 677 properties in the reserved matters application. The figure has been revised again, and 657 homes are now due to be built. The council confirmed revised plans were submitted on Friday last week, and the reserved matters application will go before the planning committee in the spring.

One of the biggest problems, however, to ensure housing targets are met in York has been a lack of clear planning guidance spanning the whole of the city.

An over-arching development brief has not been adopted for the city since 1956, and the latest attempts to introduce a planning vision were thwarted last year.

The Local Development Framework’s core strategy was withdrawn in May just three months after a draft was submitted to the Government for final approval amid concerns over its “potential soundness”. A replacement Local Plan is not expected to be in place until 2015.

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